Objectives HPV vaccination is safe and effective for cancer prevention, but uptake remains low. Very little data exists on attitudes and knowledge of HPV vaccines among HPS. Edification of HPS knowledge will improve their ability to educate patients.
Methods This cross-sectional survey study of HPS (medical, public health, nursing) assessed knowledge of HPV, HPV vaccine, and vaccine uptake. The study was IRB approved (#20201459). Data analysis was conducted in SPSS.
Results 234 students completed the survey with more students identifying as female (Table). Knowledge of the HPV vaccine differed significantly between professions (p < 0.001) and was significantly higher in medicine compared to both nursing (p < 0.001) and public health (p < 0.01). Knowledge of HPV differed significantly between professions (p < 0.001) and was significantly higher in medicine compared to both nursing (p < 0.001) and public health (p < 0.005). There were no knowledge differences between the nursing and public health schools. Nursing and public health students largely were unaware that the latest age to receive vaccination is 44. 92% of participants initiated the HPV vaccine series, but only 61% completed the vaccine series.
Conclusions HPS across schools demonstrated gaps in knowledge surrounding both HPV and the HPV vaccine. Specifically students knew HPV causes cervical cancer; however, major knowledge gaps persist in the prevention of HPV infection. These areas represent high-yield opportunities for improvement within HPS education to ensure dissemination of knowledge regarding cancer prevention.
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