Knowledge, attitude & practice on human papillomavirus vaccination: A cross-sectional study among healthcare providers
Background & objectives: Cervical cancer is a major health problem and a leading cause of death among women in India. Of all the associated risk factors, high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infections being the principal aetiologic agent, two HPV vaccines are in use for the control of cervical cancer. The present study was undertaken to explore the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) on HPV vaccination among the healthcare providers in India.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 590 healthcare professionals from 232 hospitals and 80 PHCs of nine districts of Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region). A total of 590 (526 female, 64 male) healthcare providers were surveyed.
Results: Only 47 per cent of respondents recommended young women to get vaccinated against HPV. Majority of respondents (81%) were found to be aware about the existence of vaccines for cervical cancer prevention. District-wise, highest (88.3%) awareness about the existence of vaccines against HPV was reported from Gautam Budh Nagar and lowest (64%) in Faridabad. Although 86 per cent of gynaecologists were aware about the names of HPV vaccines available in the market, only 27 per cent of paramedical staff had this knowledge. There was a significant difference between the respondents from government and private sectors regarding their awareness about HPV vaccines. Lack of awareness about the principal cause, risk factors and symptoms for cervical cancer and HPV vaccination was significantly (P< 0.05) reported in the respondents from paramedical staff category.
Interpretation & conclusions: The findings reinforce continued medical education of healthcare providers, particularly those from the government sector on HPV vaccination for cervical cancer prevention. Public education is also pertinent for a successful HPV vaccination programme in the country.