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.
Copyright © 2011 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.