Determination of knowledge levels, attitude and behaviors of female university students concerning cervical cancer, human papiloma virus and its vaccine
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Background: The purpose of the study is to investigate knowledge, attitudes and behaviours concerning cervical cancer, HPV and HPV vaccine of female students studying at a university in a health related department and explore variables affecting taking the vaccine. Methods: The research group consists of female students attending a health related department in Balikesir University. The data of this cross-sectional research was collected via surveys. Results: The average total knowledge score of the students concerning risks, symptoms and screening methods of cervical cancer and HPV vaccines was 14.15 +/- 6.7. The HPV knowledge score of the students attending the faculty of medicine was higher compared to the students attending other departments and their HPV vaccine knowledge score was higher compared to the students attending nursing and paramedics students. The HPV vaccine knowledge score of the students attending the department of midwifery was significantly higher compared to other students. Only 0. 9 % of the students took the vaccine. One third of the students who did not take the vaccine did not know that the vaccine was available in our country. In terms of the department that they attended, the students with a higher total knowledge score compared to the average (OR:1.5) and students with history of cancer in their families (OR:1.6) were more likely to consider taking the vaccine. Conclusions: Research group's knowledge on risk factors of cervical cancer, Pap smear test, symptoms and prevention ways of cancer, HPV and HPV vaccine was low.