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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3041

Title: HPV Knowledge and Cervical Cancer Prevention in Women
Authors: Elles-Montgomery, Kymberlee A.
Keywords: Human Papillomavirus;Cervical Cancer;Women;Nursing
Issue Date: 10-Jun-2009
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States and the proven etiology of cervical cancer. Recent studies suggest a bimodal HPV prevalence for women of two age groups: 19 ‐ 26 and 40 ‐ 70. HPV and cervical cancer knowledge has yet to be investigated in the older population of women. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the HPV and cervical cancer knowledge, health beliefs, and preventative practices in women of two age groups: women aged 19 – 26 and women aged 40 ‐ 70. METHODS: This study employed a cross‐sectional, descriptive design. A convenience sample of 300 women was recruited from three ambulatory Ob/Gyn practices in Philadelphia. Participants filled out the “Awareness of HPV and Cervical Cancer Questionnaire” to determine their HPV and cervical cancer knowledge, health beliefs and preventative practices. RESULTS: Two hundred and eighty responses (n = 131 aged 19 – 26 years; n = 149 aged 40 – 70 years) were received. Participants identified themselves as mostly Caucasian (55.40%) and African American (29.60%), college graduates (42.90%), Catholic (38.60%) or Christian (31.80%), mostly single (42.90%) or married (34.30%), with an annual income of $41,000‐60,000 (27.40%) and private health insurance (80%). Significant differences were found between the two groups for knowledge (p = 0.010) only, but not for health beliefs (perceived susceptibility (p = 0.111) and perceived seriousness (p = 0.266). Significant differences of select preventative practices were also noted between these two groups. These included pap smear (p = 0.05), use of condoms (p = 0.002), and use of oral contraception (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: There is a remarkable need for age appropriate HPV and cervical cancer awareness and education for women over the age of 40. Women’s health care providers are perfectly positioned to act as a catalyst to improve HPV and cervical cancer knowledge, health beliefs and preventative practice to ensure optimum health promotion for all women.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3041
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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