Background: Limited human papillomavirus (HPV) related knowledge might be a barrier to future vaccineacceptance. From 2008-2010, PATH conducted an HPV vaccination demonstration project in partnership withthe government immunization program in Vietnam, which included awareness campaigns prior to vaccination.
Objective: To assess and compare knowledge and attitudes about cervical cancer and HPV vaccines betweenmothers and daughters, and whether knowledge was associated with vaccination status.
Methods: We analyzedHPV-related knowledge and attitude data from mother-daughter paired responses to a cross-sectional householdsurvey. After parents completed the survey, daughters were asked the same questions. We calculated the frequencyof responses for each question and devised a scaled composite measure for knowledge.
Results: Participantsbelieved they had received enough information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccines and it was sufficient tomake a decision about vaccination. Fifty percent of the participants knew HPV causes cervical cancer and 80%knew the HPV vaccine prevented cervical cancer. Mothers had more knowledge about cervical cancer and HPVinfection (p<0.01), compared to daughters, who had more vaccine specific knowledge (p<0.01). However, thetotal mean knowledge score was similar for the groups. Girls not fully vaccinated had a lower mean knowledgescore than fully vaccinated girls (p<0.001).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the purpose of the HPVvaccine was clearly messaged; however, some misconceptions about cervical cancer and HPV still exist. Limitedknowledge about the magnitude of cervical cancer, HPV as a cause of cervical cancer, and HPV vaccines mayhave contributed to incomplete vaccination.