Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer Knowledge, Health Beliefs, and Preventative Practices in Older Women
Version of Record online: 14 MAY 2010
© 2010 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 39, Issue 3, pages 238–249, May/June 2010
How to Cite
Montgomery, K., Bloch, J. R., Bhattacharya, A. and Montgomery, O. (2010), Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer Knowledge, Health Beliefs, and Preventative Practices in Older Women. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 39: 238–249. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2010.01136.x
- Issue online: 14 MAY 2010
- Version of Record online: 14 MAY 2010
- Accepted December 2009
- human papillomavirus;
- cervical cancer;
- health beliefs;
- preventative practices
Objective: To explore knowledge of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, health beliefs, and preventative practices in women 40 to 70 years.
Design: Cross-sectional descriptive.
Setting: Three urban ambulatory Obstetrics and Gynecology offices connected with a teaching hospital's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Mid-Atlantic section of the United States.
Participants: A convenience sample of 149 women age 40 to 70.
Methods: To assess HPV and cervical cancer knowledge, health beliefs, and preventative practices a self-administered survey, the Awareness of HPV and Cervical Cancer Questionnaire was distributed to women as they waited for their well-woman gynecologic exam.
Results: The mean knowledge score was 7.39 (SD=3.42) out of 15. One third of the questions about the relationship of HPV and risks for cervical cancer were answered incorrectly by more than 75% of these women. Although most appreciate the seriousness of cervical cancer, they believed themselves not particularly susceptible.
Conclusion: There is a need for HPV and cervical cancer awareness and education for women older than age 40. Women's health care professionals are well positioned to act as a catalyst to improve HPV and cervical cancer knowledge, health beliefs, and preventative practice to ensure optimum health promotion for all women.