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Rome, Italy

Donati S.,National Center for Epidemiology | Giambi C.,Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit | Declich S.,Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit | Salmaso S.,National Center for Epidemiology | And 94 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2012

In Italy since 2007 vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) is offered to 11-year-old females, whereas vaccination for older age groups is still a matter of debate. To assess Italian young women's knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding primary and secondary cervical cancer prevention a cross-sectional study among young women aged 18-26 years was conducted in 2008. The survey collected information on in-depth awareness and knowledge regarding Pap testing, HPV infection, HPV vaccine and cervical cancer. The response rate was 57.7% with a wide range of variability (34-84%) amongst local health units. Among 667 women who participated in the survey poor awareness and various misconceptions regarding HPV and cervical cancer prevention were detected. Overall women were found to be more knowledgeable about Pap smears and cervical cancer than about HPV infection and the HPV vaccine. Respondents pointed to their healthcare providers as their most trusted source for medical information. Understanding women's knowledge on cervical cancer prevention, as well as related factors is important in helping to achieve and maintain adherence to cervical cancer preventive strategies. Moreover in order to minimize cervical cancer risk by improving women's adherence to preventive strategies, appropriate and adequate information dissemination, and guidance from health professionals appear to be crucial elements. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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