Introduction/Background Cervical Cancer (CC) is one of the foremost causes of mortality among Romanian women that vaccination programs can effectively prevent. Despite this, vaccination rates remain low. This study evaluated psychological and socio-economic factors influencing HPV vaccination rates in Romania.
Methodology A mixed-method cross-sectional survey was conducted among Romanian women. The 90 questions-survey collected demographic data, information related to anticipated regret related to CC diagnosis, the vaccination status of the responders, and basic knowledge about cervical cancer and the HPV infection and vaccine while evaluating the leading psychological and socio-economic barriers and facilitators for vaccination. The survey was delivered online.
Results Sixty-five women aged 19 to 62 partook in the survey. Only 22 women were fully vaccinated against HPV. Guilt, worries about what can happen, regret, feeling responsible for what happened, fear of dying, low confidence regarding sexual activity, and concerns regarding the ability to have children were the most common concerns among women who exhibit anticipated regret related to a CC diagnosis. Factors negatively impacting the vaccination rate were age, lack of information regarding the vaccine, lack of interest, not knowing the side effects or considering them too dangerous, the price of the vaccine, previous diagnosis of an HPV infection, and lack of trust. The main facilitators involved in the vaccination uptake were: the belief that the vaccine can prevent CC, the presumption that the vaccine minimizes the risk of infection, receiving a recommendation from an expert (gynecologist or other physicians), possessing more information regarding the infection, and perceiving the vaccine as safe.
Conclusion Anticipated regret related to a CC diagnosis did not seem to affect the vaccination rate among Romanian women. Price and lack of information or misinformation appeared to impact the decision to undertake the vaccine negatively.
Disclosures No conflict of interest.
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