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Human Papilloma Virus and Vaccine - Knowledge and Acceptability in an Irish General Hospital
  • Sarah Jane Murphy,
  • Asish Das,
  • Molly Walsh
Sarah Jane Murphy
RCPI
Author Profile
Molly Walsh
Author Profile

Abstract

Background: In 2019, Ireland extended its Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine schedule from females of school going age, to include males. Aims: We know that knowledge aids in vaccine acceptability [1], and as such we aimed to assess women’s knowledge of HPV and the vaccine, and if they found the vaccine to be acceptable for both men and women. Methods: This was a questionnaire based study, which took place over a six month period in a general hospital. 100 women attending our gynaecology clinic were asked to complete a 22Q questionnaire, which was based on similar, validated questionnaires. Participants were included if over 18 years, female and capable of consenting. Results: We collected results from n=100 women. Over ¼ (n=26) had never heard of the HPV vaccine. Of these, none knew the risk factors for contracting HPV nor the diseases caused by HPV. Of this subgroup all women responded ‘I don’t know’ when asked if they think boys and girls should receive the vaccine. Of women who had heard of the vaccine (n=74) , 85% believed girls should receive the vaccine, while only 56% believed boys should. Conclusions: Our study highlights the ongoing lack of knowledge surrounding HPV and the HPV vaccine within this community. The importance of knowledge for vaccine acceptability, is highlighted by vaccination considered less acceptable for males, perhaps owing to the lack of education towards this gender. This may affect vaccine uptake within this subgroup and as such we suggest further education be directed towards males