Human papillomavirus and vaccination: knowledge, attitudes, and behavioural intention in adolescents and young women in Italy

Di Giuseppe, G; Abbate, R; Liguori, G; Albano, L; Angelillo, I F
July 2008
British Journal of Cancer;7/22/2008, Vol. 99 Issue 2, p225
Academic Journal
This study assesses knowledge, attitudes, and behavioural intention towards human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and vaccination in a random sample of 1348 adolescents and young women aged 14–24 years in Italy. A self-administered anonymous questionnaire covered demographics; knowledge about HPV infection, cervical cancer, and HPV vaccine; the perceived risk for contracting HPV infection and/or for developing cervical cancer, the perceived benefits of a vaccination to prevent cervical cancer, and willingness to receive an HPV vaccine. Only 23.3% have heard that HPV is an infection of the genital mucosa and about cervical cancer. Those older, with at least one parent who is a health care professional, with personal, familiar, or friendly history of cervical cancer, and having underwent a health checkup in the last year with information about HPV vaccination were significantly more knowledgeable. Risk perception scores (range: 1–10) of contracting HPV infection and of developing cervical cancer were 5.8 and 6.5. Older age, not having a parent who is a health care professional, having had a personal, familiar, or friendly history of cervical cancer, and need of additional information were predictors of the perceived susceptibility of developing cervical cancer. The vast majority professed intent to receive an HPV vaccine and the significant predictors were having at least one parent who is a health care professional, a high perceived risk of contracting HPV infection and of developing cervical cancer, and a high belief towards the utility of a vaccination for preventing cervical cancer. Knowledge about HPV infection and cervical cancer should be improved with more attention to the benefit of HPV vaccination.British Journal of Cancer (2008) 99, 225–229. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6604454 www.bjcancer.com


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