Document Type: Research Articles
College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Background and aim: Cervical cancer (CC) is the 7th most common cancer worldwide. It is the 4th most common cancer in females causing 7.5% of all female cancer deaths. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is the leading cause of CC and other diseases worldwide. Despite several measures taken to reduce the risk of infection with HPV, the most effective method remains the HPV vaccine. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes of parents in Sharjah towards HPV and whether or not they would vaccinate their daughters. Methods and Material: A quantitative, observational cross-sectional study of 400 subjects was conducted in public venues in Sharjah. Probability sampling method was used for selection of subjects (parents who have daughters). A self-administered 32- question questionnaire was distributed. SPSS 21 (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) was used for entry and analysis of data. Frequency was calculated, Chi square test was used to conduct bivariate analysis and bar charts and tables were used to present the results. Results: 78.3% of the population had heard of CC, 41.3 % of HPV, and 36.5% of the HPV vaccine. Among them, the percentages of the correctly answered knowledge-related questions were found to be 66.2%, 50.9% and 52.1% for CC, HPV and HPV vaccine, respectively. 76.6% of parents were willing to vaccinate their daughters. The percentage increased to 92.9%, if the ministry of health (MOH) recommended the vaccine. A significant correlation was found between the spouse’s level of education, HPV (Pearson-chi square value: 5.049 and p: 0.025) and HPV vaccine (Pearson-chi square value: 4.057 and p:0.044). Conclusions: Despite the public’s lack of knowledge, the study showed a noticeable increase in parent’s willingness to vaccinate their daughters if the government recommends and provides the HPV vaccine. However, proper evaluation of the vaccine’s efficacy from a socioeconomic point of view is needed before recommending its implementation in the UAE immunization schedule.