KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE TOWARDS HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS INFECTION AND VACCINATIONS AMONG NURSES IN HOSPITAL UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA
Background: The number of cervical cancer cases related to human papillomavirus (HPV) increased in prevalence and mortality yearly despite many prevention programs introduced by the government. Knowledge and attitude towards HPV infection and vaccinations affect vaccine acceptance. Nurses play an important role in providing vaccination, health education, early treatment and screening program for its success.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in March 2020 among 37 nurses working at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM), Kelantan. A validated self-administered questionnaire comprising 11 items for the knowledge domain and 8 items for the attitude domain was used.
Result: The mean knowledge (SD) and mean attitude (SD) scores were 5.46 (1.71) and 27.68 (2.10). The majority of the participants (75.7%) knew that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, but they (75.5%) were not aware that the Gardasil vaccine could protect against four types of HPV infection. About 97.3% of the participants believed that the vaccine is safe, but 13.5% were unsure of its efficacy. The Pearson’s chi-square and Fisher Exact tests showed no association between occupational characteristics and HPV-related characteristics with the level of knowledge towards HPV infection and vaccinations among nurses in HUSM.
Conclusion: This study indicates that although nurses have favourable attitudes towards HPV infection and vaccinations, they have poor knowledge of HPV infection and vaccinations. However, none of the occupational characteristics and HPV-related characteristics tested is significantly associated with the nurses’ knowledge score.Keywords: Knowledge, attitude, occupational characteristics, HPV-related characteristics, vaccine, infection, cervical cancer