Knowledge levels of adolescent girls about human papilloma virus and its vaccine

Turk Pediatri Ars. 2014 Jun 1;49(2):142-7. doi: 10.5152/tpa.2014.1545. eCollection 2014 Jun.


Aim: The aim of our study was to evaluate the level of knowledge of the adolescent girls who presented to our clinic about human papilloma virus (HPV) infection and HPV vaccine.

Material and methods: Five hundred and one adolescent girls aged between 13 and 18 years who presented to the gynecology outpatient clinic between March 2012 and March 2013 were asked to answer the questions of the questionnaire about HPV and HPV vaccine. The "Participant Information Form" and "HPV Information Assessment Form" were used by examination of the related literature by the investigators. The data obtained were entered into the computer using the SPSS 16.5 program and evaluated. Descriptive statistics were shown with mean, standard deviation, number and percentage values.

Results: The mean age of 501 subjects who were included into the study was 15.92 years. 390 subjects (77.8%) who were included in the study had no information about HPV. 111 subjects (22.2%) stated that they heard of HPV before or had information about HPV. The mean age of the subjects who had information about human papilloma virus was found to be 16.52 years. The mean age of 390 subjects (77.8%) who had no information about human papilloma virus was 15.75 years. It was found that only one of the subjects (0.9%) was vaccinated with HPV vaccine. When the subjects who did not wish to be vaccinated were asked for the reason, 40.9% stated that the reason was inadequate information, 26.4% stated that the reason was high cost, 16.4% stated that the reason was the fact that they did not consider themselves at risk and 16.4% stated that the reason was the fact that they were afraid of side effects.

Conclusions: In our study, it was found that the adolescent girls who constituted our study group had insufficient information about HPV and HPV vaccine. Verbal, written and visual communication tools and internet should be used intensively and efficiently for the objective of introducing HPV vaccine and teaching the precautions related with prevention of cervix cancer in terms of public health. Primarily pediatrician and gynecologists and family physicians who give service for the adolescence age group should be supported to develop appropriate attitudes and behaviors related with HPV vaccine and infection.

Keywords: Adolescent; human papilloma virus; human papilloma virus vaccine.