215672 Women's knowledge of HPV and their perceptions of physician educational efforts regarding HPV and cervical cancer

Monday, November 8, 2010

Megan Cermak, MS , Health Promotion and Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Randall Cottrell , Department of Health Education , Division of Human Services, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Judy Murnan, PhD, MPH , University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in women of child-bearing age in the U.S. It is estimated that nearly three out of every four American women between the ages of 15 and 49 will be infected with genital HPV over the course of their lifetime. Human papillomavirus is present in almost 100% of cervical cancers. Despite this growing epidemic, there is little knowledge and awareness of HPV among the general public. HPV is most often detected in abnormal Pap test results. However women undergoing Pap tests lack basic knowledge about HPV testing, abnormal results, and follow-up procedures. The purpose of this study was to determine women's knowledge of HPV and their perceptions of the education they received from their physician regarding the reason for a Pap test, explanation of Pap test results, and how effectively the physician explained associations between HPV and cell abnormalities, cervical cancer, risk factors, and preventive measures. A survey containing 33 questions was completed by 109 primarily professional women. Based on the data collected in this study it seems that physicians were not routinely providing HPV information to their female patients. Women reported their physicians were not educating them on testing for HPV and cervical cancer, risk factors associated with contracting HPV, and preventive measures associated with HPV. Younger physicians were more likely to discuss these topics with women than older physicians. Single women also reported more discussion with their physician on these topics than married women.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify three HPV related topics that physicians did not routinely discuss with women from this study. 2. Describe the characteristics of women from this study who received the most HPV information from their physicians. 3. List the characteristics of physicians who were reported to provide better HPV information to the women in this study. 4. State that the primarily professional women from this study had poor HPV/cervical cancer knowledge levels.

Keywords: Cervical Cancer, Patient Perspective

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I was the principal investigator of this study and lead author of this article for the Journal on Community Health. I am also the Lead Program Coordinator for disease prevention and control programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.