Knowledge and Attitudes about Human Papillomaviruses and Immunization among Turkish Pediatricians
Oncel, Eda Karadag
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Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infectious agents, and the effectiveness of vaccine delivery programs will depend largely upon whether providers recommend vaccines. The objectives of this study were to examine pediatrician characteristics, knowledge, and attitudes associated with HPV and HPV immunization. Materials and Methods: Attendees of the national pediatric meeting in 2011, were asked to complete a questionnaire that, aside from demographic information, elicited level of agreement with statements regarding HPV, its related diseases, and HPV vaccination. It also documented attitudes and beliefs about HPV vaccination. Results: Of the 480 attendees, 226 (47%) filled in the questionnaire. The level of pediatrician HPV-related knowledge varied. The majority (78%) were aware that HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection, while 51% were unaware that a condom is ineffective protection against HPV infection. Between 60-80% of respondents were aware of the effectiveness of HPV vaccination for women. On the other hand, only 10% were aware of reasons why men should be vaccinated against HPV. The majority (75%) of Turkish pediatricians were likely to recommend HPV vaccination to their daughter, if they had one. Seventy percent of pediatricians agreed that the HPV vaccination should be added to the National Immunization Program (NIP) in Turkey. However, the respondents documented concerns about the cost of the vaccination. Conclusions: Increasing pediatricians' knowledge and awareness of HPV and HPV vaccination may assist with the implementation of an effective NIP.