Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International,
Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the understanding of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, knowledge of HPV vaccination as well as acceptance of the HPV vaccination among female secondary school students in Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia.
Study Design: A cross-sectional study was performed using a self-administered validated questionnaire. Respondents were selected using convenience sampling. The questionnaire was divided into four sections; demographics, knowledge of HPV, knowledge of HPV vaccination and acceptance of HPV vaccination.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in five selected secondary schools in Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia between January 2017 and July 2017.
Methodology: We included 314 female respondents, aged 13 years old.
Respondents who were willing to complete the questionnaire were included with adult informed consent. Incomplete questionnaires were excluded from the study. A total score of 20 was calculated for overall knowledge of HPV (14 items on knowledge of HPV and 6 items on HPV vaccination). Overall knowledge was categorized as low (score 0-6), intermediate (score 7-13) and high (score 14-20).
Results: The overall knowledge level of HPV was low (mean score: 6.61 ± 4.67). Over two-thirds of respondents (n= 217, 69%) however, indicated their intention to get a HPV vaccination compared to those that were not willing to be vaccinated or unsure (n=97, 31%). Willingness of respondents to be vaccinated was significantly associated with the overall knowledge of HPV (P = 0.03). The main reason for vaccination non-acceptance were safety, side effects and efficacy concerns.
Conclusion: The intention to get vaccinated was significantly associated with overall knowledge of HPV. The need for education on HPV and its prevention among female secondary school students is therefore required.