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Keywords:

  • cervical cancer;
  • human papilloma virus;
  • Pap smear;
  • women

akyuz a., yilmaz c., yenen m.c., yavan t. & kiliç a. (2011) Women’s awareness of the human papilloma virus and related health problems. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(12), 2703–2712.

Abstract

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study of women’s awareness of the human papilloma virus and related health problems.

Background.  Cervical cancer is an important cause of mortality, making up approximately 12% of all cancers in women. Awareness on the part of carriers of human papilloma virus is crucial in preventing transmission of the infection and protecting against cervical cancer.

Method.  The study was performed as a cross-sectional descriptive study. The study consists of 79 human papilloma virus-positive women who had not been diagnosed with cervical cancer and 150 women who had not been diagnosed with human papilloma virus. Data were collected via questionnaires between November 2007 and April 2008. Percentages and chi-square test were used.

Findings.  A significantly higher percentage of women with positive human papilloma virus knew the definition of human papilloma virus, the fact that it is transmitted via sexual contact and that it can lead to cervical cancer than did women with negative human papilloma virus. It was established that approximately half the women with positive human papilloma virus presented at the hospital with a genital wart. None of the women knew that a Pap smear test was a necessary tool in the prevention of cervical cancer.

Conclusion.  Women with positive human papilloma virus have insufficient knowledge of human papilloma virus, sexually transmitted diseases, the health risks associated with human papilloma virus and the means of preventing these risks. It is therefore necessary to evaluate the education of health workers, and especially of nurses, on human papilloma virus and its prevention.