Assessment of knowledge and stigmatizing attitudes related to human papillomavirus among Hong Kong Chinese healthcare providers

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2012 Jan;116(1):52-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.07.035. Epub 2011 Oct 26.


Objective: To assess knowledge and stigmatizing attitudes related to human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV testing among Chinese healthcare providers in Hong Kong.

Methods: Between May and September 2010, an anonymous self-administered questionnaire was sent to 247 doctors, nurses, and smear-taking trainees providing cervical screening in Hong Kong.

Results: In total, 137 questionnaires were returned. Most participants had basic knowledge about HPV infection and HPV vaccination. Only about 33% knew that high-risk HPV does not cause genital warts, infection is most common among young women, or infected individuals might not have any identifiable sexual risk factors. Regarding HPV testing, 6 of 7 knowledge items were answered incorrectly by many participants (≥ 50%), highlighting a lack of understanding of the indications for HPV testing and the implications of a positive result. About 30% of participants agreed that individuals with HPV infection were sexually easy, responsible for their infection, or had more than 1 sexual partner. More knowledge about HPV infection predicted less stigmatizing attitudes.

Conclusion: Continued education on HPV and HPV testing is needed for frontline healthcare providers of screening in Hong Kong. The stigmatizing attitudes toward HPV-infected individuals warrant further exploration of the impact of HPV infection on patient care and interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian People
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel*
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Social Stigma*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / psychology*
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Young Adult


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines