Knowledge and Attitudes about Human Papillomaviruses and Immunization among Turkish Pediatricians


Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infectious agents,and the effectiveness of vaccine delivery programs will depend largely upon whether providers recommendvaccines. The objectives of this study were to examine pediatrician characteristics, knowledge, and attitudesassociated with HPV and HPV immunization. Materials and
Methods: Attendees of the national pediatricmeeting in 2011, were asked to complete a questionnaire that, aside from demographic information, elicited levelof agreement with statements regarding HPV, its related diseases, and HPV vaccination. It also documentedattitudes and beliefs about HPV vaccination.
Results: Of the 480 attendees, 226 (47%) filled in the questionnaire.The level of pediatrician HPV-related knowledge varied. The majority (78%) were aware that HPV infection isthe most common sexually transmitted infection, while 51% were unaware that a condom is ineffective protectionagainst HPV infection. Between 60-80% of respondents were aware of the effectiveness of HPV vaccination forwomen. On the other hand, only 10% were aware of reasons why men should be vaccinated against HPV. Themajority (75%) of Turkish pediatricians were likely to recommend HPV vaccination to their daughter, if theyhad one. Seventy percent of pediatricians agreed that the HPV vaccination should be added to the NationalImmunization Program (NIP) in Turkey. However, the respondents documented concerns about the cost of thevaccination.
Conclusions: Increasing pediatricians’ knowledge and awareness of HPV and HPV vaccinationmay assist with the implementation of an effective NIP.