Cervical Cancer Knowledge and Prevention Among College Women

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess cervical cancer knowledge and prevention practices among college women and to determine predictors of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in this group. A quantitative approach using two varying groups of women was undertaken. College women and women visiting a local community health center were surveyed on items assessing cervical cancer knowledge and prevention practices. Altogether, 410 women were sampled, 217 college women and 193 from the local community health center. HPV vaccine initiation was higher among the college group (36 %) compared to (5 %) among the community health center group. Seventy three (73 %) percent of women in the community group had a Papanicolaou test in the preceding 3 years compared to (61.8 %) in the college group. College women reported higher cervical cancer knowledge than community women. This study highlights that cervical cancer knowledge and preventive practices are variable among women and that significant differences exist among college and community women. This calls for more strategic and accessible services incorporating group specific messages and interventions.

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Acknowledgments

This study was made possible by a research Grant from Nova Southeastern University Health Professionals Department. The Authors wish to thank Patrick Hardigan, Kristin Kruger, and the staff of the MPH program for their positive contribution. We would also like to thank all the women who participated in this study. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors. The institutional review board at Nova Southeastern University and Broward family and Community Health Centers granted approval for the study. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors.

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Correspondence to Michael Wolwa.

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Wolwa, M., Blavo, C., Shah, R. et al. Cervical Cancer Knowledge and Prevention Among College Women. J Community Health 38, 997–1002 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-013-9707-8

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Keywords

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
  • Cervical cancer
  • Health beliefs
  • Community health centers