Title. Cervical cancer prevention by vaccination: nurses’ knowledge, attitudes and intentions.
Aim. This paper is a report of a survey: (1) to document nurses’ knowledge, attitudes and information needs regarding human papillomavirus prevention and (2) to determine factors associated with their willingness to recommend human papillomavirus vaccines.
Background. Persistent infection with human papillomavirus has been causally linked to cervical cancer. Two human papillomavirus vaccines have recently been approved for use in more than 65 countries. Nurses’ level of support for the prevention of human papillomavirus related diseases by vaccination has not been researched.
Methods. A survey was conducted in 2007. Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to 1799 randomly selected nurses. Descriptive statistics were generated for all variables. Multivariable logistic regression models were estimated to determine variables associated with the willingness to recommend human papillomavirus vaccines.
Results. A total of 946 questionnaires were analyzed and showed that: 97% of nurses perceived routinely recommended vaccines as very useful; 93% would support human papillomavirus vaccination if it is publicly funded; 85% would recommend human papillomavirus vaccines to their patients; 33%, 46% and 61% expect the vaccination to permit screening to begin later in life, reduction of the frequency of screening, and reduction of the number of postscreening interventions, respectively. Respondents’ knowledge score was 3·8 out of 7. Several modifiable factors, including knowledge, perceived self-efficacy, and societal and colleagues support were associated with willingness to recommend vaccines.
Conclusion. Most nurses’ support human papillomavirus vaccination, but their active involvement should not be taken for granted. Targeted educational efforts are needed to ensure nurses’ involvement in the prevention of human papillomavirus-related diseases.