Introduction The incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer are rising among young women in Japan. In November 2021, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare reinstated the active recommendation for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which was discontinued in June 2013 due to reports of adverse reactions, including chronic pain and motor dysfunction, following vaccination. However, vaccine hesitancy still remains. We aimed to conduct a randomized study using different methods of providing educational content to improve health literacy among female students in Japan.
Methods Data was collected three times from students in our university who were divided into three groups: no intervention, print-based intervention, and social networking service-based intervention, using the health literacy scale and communicative and critical health literacy scale.
Results As of April 2023, of the 267 participants in the study, 179 participants have completed the first questionnaires. One hundred forty-eight students (79.3%) were in medical-related faculties, 72 (40.2%) had relatives of medical professionals, 99 (55.3%) had never received the HPV vaccine, and 50 (28.0%) had completed three doses. There were significant differences in the total scores of the health literacy questionnaire depending on the above backgrounds.
Conclusion/Implications Our present analysis indicates that participants’ knowledges due to lifestyles are related to health literacy. Therefore, medical professionals must provide accurate scientific knowledge about HPV vaccination and the risk of cervical cancer to improve students’ health literacy and subsequently increase the HPV vaccination rates. The collected responses will be statistically reviewed and reported.
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