Human Papilloma Virus infection and HPV vaccination: awareness and acceptability among medical students
Objective: To evaluate the awareness and acceptability of Human Papilloma Virus infection and its vaccination among medical students.
Study design: Cross-sectional study
Place and duration of study: December 2021, medical college of Lahore
Methods: It was conducted on medical students of 1st year to 5th year. They were briefed about the study. All students who were willing to participate and gave consent were included in the study. Data was entered in SPSS version 23 and analyzed using mean for quantitative variables and percent for qualitative variables.
Results: Total number of students were 384 including 229(59.63%) from pre-clinical years and 155(40.35%) from clinical years. Their mean age was 21.43+1.5 years. On comparison of pre-clinical to clinical years most of the students were aware of the sexually transmitted nature of infection i.e. 69% vs. 94.2%, Pap smear as screening method i.e. 72.55 vs. 97.9%. However percentage of correct answers regarding symptomatology of HPV infection, and its risk factors was less than 50%. Only 36.5% students from pre-clinical years versus 52.9% students from clinical years have heard about HPV vaccine while 9% versus 5.2% of students were vaccinated against HPV. Common barriers to HPV vaccination identified by the students of pre-clinical versus clinical years was lack of awareness about availability of HPV vaccine i.e. 64.32% vs. 52.48% followed by the belief of not being at risk of HPV infection i.e. 59.29% vs.49.64% and high cost of vaccine i.e. 53.26% vs. 44.68% respectively
Conclusion: Awareness about HPV infection and its vaccine was low but they have good acceptability for HPV vaccination. Major barrier to HPV vaccination was lack of awareness.
Key words: Human papilloma virus, infection, vaccine, medical
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