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Arch Hellen Med, 31(3), May-June 2014, 342-351


Investigation of women's knowledge about the prevention of cervical cancer

E. Harami,1 M. Tsironi,2 P. Prezerakos,2 T. Agorastos,3 S. Ziga2
1General Hospital-Health Center of Molai, Molai,
2Department of Nursing, Faculty of Human Movement and Quality of Life Sciences, University of Peloponnese, Sparta,
3Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

OBJECTIVE Investigation of the knowledge of women attended the gynecological clinic and outpatient department of a regional hospital in Peloponnese about the prevention of cervical cancer.

METHOD The survey involved 300 women aged 18−65 years. For the collection of data, an anonymous self-completed questionnaire was used, which included demographic characteristics and information on preventing cervical cancer according to the "Lysistrati" program, with the permission of the program's scientific director. Statistical analysis was conducted using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).

RESULTS The majority of the participants had undergone the Papanicolaou test (49.1% of these were tested every year and 50.9% occasionally). The predominant reasons given for non-testing were neglect (44.4%) and shame (33.3%). A large percentage of women were unaware of the human papilloma virus (HPV) (56%), its mode of transmission (56.3%), the HPV test (76.7%), what an HPV infection can lead to (72.3%) and the existence of the vaccine (59.7%), but the majority of them were receptive to vaccination for themselves and their underage children. In addition, the majority of the women reported that they believe that girls and boys should be informed about the association between HPV, sexual relations, and cervical cancer and that information about this association should be provided at school. The degree of knowledge and testing of the participants were correlated with their age, place of residence, educational level, occupation and marital status.

CONCLUSIONS The knowledge of women in studying the regional Peloponnese about the prevention of cervical cancer is incomplete and fragmentary. The implementation of organized screening and health education programs for cervical cancer designed according to the needs and characteristics of this population is imperative.

Key words: Cervical cancer, HPV DNA test, Human papilloma virus, Test Papanicolaou, Vaccination.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine