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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 145-150

Attitudes and perceptions towards HPV vaccination among young women in Saudi Arabia

Department of Family Medicine and Polyclinic, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Aneela N Hussain
Department of Family Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, P. O. Box: 3354, MBC-62, Riyadh 11211
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8229.189107

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Background: Rising incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical cancer can be reduced by effective vaccination. Saudi Food and Drug Administration approved prophylactic HPV vaccine in 2010 for females of 11-26 years. Objectives: To determine the awareness of HPV infection, its health sequel and the attitude and barriers to the acceptance of HPV vaccine by young women in Saudi Arabia. Dynamics influencing the decision of patients and parents regarding vaccination were assessed to foster effective and strategically focused interventions. Materials and Methods: All patients of Family Medicine department, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh were invited to participate in this study from January 2012 to June 2014. A culturally sensitive and specially designed questionnaire was administered using an interview-based model to assess the knowledge, perception, and associated sociodemographic factors of HPV. Results: A total of 325 patients participated as per the inclusion criteria: 87.4% were Saudis, 53.5% had university or higher education and 65.2% were adolescents (age 11-19 years). The questionnaire was answered by participants (50.8%) or guardians (49.2%). About 34.5% of the population was aware of HPV infection, and 27.4% were aware of its relation with cervical cancer. However, awareness of the HPV vaccine, perception of its prevention of cervical cancer and other HPV-related disease was relatively low (32.3%), Saudis (29.9%) versus non-Saudis (48.8%) (P = 0.016). More guardians (41.2%) were aware of the HPV vaccine and its impact than participants (27.9%) (P = 0.01). Higher educational background (43.1%) increased the knowledge of HPV compared to less than high school education (24.5%) (odds ratio: 2.33; 95% confidence interval: 1.44-3.76). Nearly 64.3% of participants agreed, and 35.7% refused to receive the HPV vaccine. Conclusion: Knowledge and perception of HPV infection as an sexually transmitted infections and its vaccine was significantly low in this cohort of patients. Higher age and educational levels directly correlated with increased knowledge of HPV infection and its complications. It is recommended that awareness should be raised, and access to HPV vaccination increased to help reduce the health care burden of HPV sequelae in the Kingdom.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010