Knowledge and health beliefs of nursing students toward Human Papilloma Virus and vaccine use

Fatjona Kamberi, Eva Muhaj


Objective: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted among young people of both sexes. It is also the main cause of cervical cancer. This study aimed at assessing students' knowledge and health beliefs about HPV infection and the use of the vaccine.

Methods: The sample of the cross-sectional study was 120 randomly selected nursing students from the Faculty of Public Health, University of Vlore “Ismail Qemali” Albania. Anonymous, self-administered questionnaire based on the literature and Health Belief Model, was used for data collection in May 2017. The questionnaire included assessment questions for students' knowledge and health beliefs about HPV and vaccine use. Also, questions about socio-demographic characteristics were included. Data analysis included the calculation of averages, frequencies, and confidence intervals. P values ≤0.05 were accepted as statistically significant.

Result: Mean age 20.3±2.2years, 92.44 % of students were female. 65.83% of students know that HPV is a sexually transmitted infection and a vaccine is available to prevent it. Ambiguities and uncertainties exist in regard to screening with Pap test after vaccination. Perceived benefits are high for 50.83% of students. Perceived severity appeared low as only 25% of students agree that they may be affected by HPV. Statistical association, p =0.0347 was found between perceived risk and the year of study. The parents' role in vaccination against HPV have a strong statistical association, p=0.0058 with the year of study as only 8.33 % of students in the third year agree with the fact that that parents do not allow them to be vaccinated against HPV.

Conclusion: The study noted the student's ambiguity and misconceptions about HPV infection. Low severity and lack of knowledge about the vaccine emphasizes that identifying their current level of knowledge and the main source of information are essential to provide comprehensive and appropriate health education.


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