Knowledge, attitudes, and practices among Saudi women regarding cervical cancer, human papillomavirus (HPV) and corresponding vaccine
Jradi H1, Bawazir A2.
1 Public and Environmental Health, College of Public Health and Health Informatics, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
2 Public and Environmental Health, College of Public Health and Health Informatics, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Year of Publication:
To our knowledge there are no studies exploring Saudi women’s understanding of the importance of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. In the present study, we examined the awareness of HPV and women’s attitudes toward the HPV vaccine.
Nine focus groups were formed in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia, including 77 women between the ages of 18 and 45 years old. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in 58 female healthcare providers to examine women’s awareness of cervical cancer, HPV, barriers, acceptance, beliefs, and attitudes towards the HPV vaccine.
Focus group discussions revealed a lack of knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine. Cultural concerns regarding screening and vaccinating for a conventionally known sexually transmitted infection were an emerging theme in addition to not perceiving cervical cancer screening as necessary because women with no signs and symptoms considered themselves not at risk for developing cervical cancer. Approximately 30% of healthcare providers other than physicians were unaware of prevention methods, and 63.3% did not practice any screening methods for cervical cancer and attributed the lack of screening to “no specific reasons at all”.
Because of the unfavorable knowledge and attitude of HPV infection and the associated vaccine from the women in the present study, emphasis should be directed to educate and promote awareness of women to the risk factors of cervical cancer and to the need for screening programs and the administration of the vaccine.