Cervical cancer, the second most common cancer affecting women worldwide, is caused by infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) which is sexually transmitted. Considering the wide coverage of the HPV virus, it was estimated that more than 80% of sexually active women will be infected with HPV during their lifetime. While HPV infection is often harmless, persistent infection can lead to cervical cancer.
The development of cervical cancer in women in Australia was the introduction of the HPV vaccine, which was given to young women in the national vaccination program in schools in 2007. Despite this medical progress, regular screening is still necessary to ensure optimal protection against cervical cancer.
During this study participated in the screening of Australian women has been steadily declining since 1996. Implementation of the National Program of HPV vaccination in Australia in 2007 raised concerns about the fact that the decline in girls' participation in screening among women will be exacerbated by the presence and promotion of the vaccine. However, a survey conducted in 2009 showed that 96% of the vaccinated women aged 18 to 28 years to know that vaccination is still invited to screening. More recent data suggest that the knowledge of the need for screening does not mean that the patient will make it.
Dr. Vesna Cooper, professor of the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy the CUNY, conducted a recent study that examined the amount of knowledge among young women in Australia about HPV, HPV vaccination and screening guidelines. The aim of the study was to identify the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors that affect young women's participation in screening. The findings were published in the International Journal of Women's Health and Reproductive Sciences.
Cooper and her team conducted semi-structured interviews with 12 women who were in high school, and offered the HPV vaccine through the Australian national program of vaccination against HPV. Transcripts of interviews were analyzed and identified recurring barriers and facilitators to find a screening Pap. Psychological barriers most frequently mentioned barriers among participants, are self-limiting beliefs, such as the reluctance to seek mental screening. Other barriers include concerns about the physical discomfort, lack of time, lack of information about where you can get access to screening and the possible costs. On the other hand, it was revealed a few coordinators who encouraged participants to seek testimony. These included a focus on long-term benefits of screening, maternal support, discussions with friends, establishing a relationship with a permanent physician with whom they were convenient to discuss this problem, and previous experience of the screening.
The study found that all participants understand that screening was necessary, regardless of vaccination status. Despite this knowledge, compliance with the guidelines for screening varied due to a number of barriers and facilitators. During the interviews, participants themselves made several recommendations in order to encourage young women to follow the guidelines Dad screening. Recommendations include increasing knowledge, improving formation, reduction of stigma and improved availability to run.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting young women, a better understanding of and adherence to recommended preventive measures for risk reduction is crucial to reduce morbidity and mortality. The authors note that the results of this study have implications for the development of interventions to ensure compliance with the guidelines for screening, both vaccinated and unvaccinated women in Australia.