The aims of the study were to evaluate human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer knowledge in a population at high risk for cervical cancer and to determine whether knowledge and attitudes toward HPV vaccination improve after educational intervention.
Materials and Methods
This pre-post survey design study was conducted at the John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County colposcopy clinic. An HPV knowledge and awareness survey was given to participants before their clinical encounter. Afterward, participants watched an educational video and repeated the survey, which was administered again at the follow-up visit. Knowledge scores and acceptability of HPV vaccination were compared across all surveys.
Among the 104 participants who completed baseline and immediate postintervention surveys, the average baseline score was 9.6 of 20. Knowledge scores improved after the educational intervention (mean = 14.1, p < .0001) and remained elevated in the 44 participants that completed long-term follow-up (mean = 13.5, p < .0001). Acceptability of HPV vaccination for participants themselves increased from 47.1% to 76% (p < .0001) and for children/grandchildren increased from 30.8% to 71.2% (p < .0001) after the intervention. Overall, women were worried about HPV and cervical cancer for themselves and their children/grandchildren at baseline. However, the intervention improved perceptions about HPV vaccination cost, safety, adverse effects, and efficacy.
Knowledge of HPV, cervical cancer, and HPV vaccination is low in this high-risk population and may improve with a simple educational intervention. Increased knowledge was associated with an increase in vaccine acceptability and improved perceptions about HPV vaccination. Educational interventions targeted toward high-risk women are necessary to decrease cervical cancer incidence and mortality.