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cervical cancer, human papillomavirus, nurses, Turkey, vaccination



  1. Koc, Zeliha
  2. Cinarli, Tugba


Background: In cancer prevention programs, healthcare professionals are the main resource for ensuring community participation in cervical cancer screening as well as in enhancing individuals' knowledge and practices regarding cervical cancer, human papillomavirus (HPV), and HPV vaccines.


Aim: This descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted to determine Turkish hospital nurses' knowledge, awareness, and practices in relation to cervical cancer, HPV, and HPV vaccination.


Methods: This study was conducted from February 1 to March 30, 2013. A total of 464 nurses working in a university hospital located in the central Black Sea region in northern Turkey participated.


Results: Among participating nurses, 13.8% of the nurses underwent cervical cancer screening and 11.6% received Pap smear tests. Reasons for not engaging in cervical cancer screening included lack of sexual activity, not considering themselves to be at risk, and shame (28.2%, 18.3%, and 16.8%, respectively). None of the nurses had received the HPV vaccine; reasons included not having sufficient knowledge about the vaccine and a belief that the vaccine was not very common (57.3% and 20.7%, respectively). Nearly half (44%) stated that they would not recommend the HPV vaccine to their patients because they did not believe they had sufficient knowledge about it (56%).


Discussion: Knowledge about HPV infection and HPV vaccines and willingness to be vaccinated were very low among Turkish hospital nurses. Effective education strategies are needed to improve knowledge needed to support patients to receive effective cervical cancer screening and preventive services.