Knowledge and awareness of human papillomavirus infection and human papillomavirus vaccine among Kazakhstani women attending gynecological clinics

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Cervical cancer remains one of the top causes of cancer-related morbidity and mortality all over the world. Currently, however, there are no published studies to assess the knowledge of HPV and cervical cancer in Kazakhstan. This study aimed to assess the awareness of HPV, the knowledge of HPV as a cause of cervical cancer, and the awareness of HPV vaccination among Kazakhstani women visiting gynecological clinics across the country. In addition, the study aimed to identify the factors associated with the awareness of HPV and the HPV vaccine and knowledge of HPV as a major cause of cervical cancer. This was a cross-sectional survey-based study with 2,272 women aged between 18–70 years attending gynecological clinics, who were administered paper-based questionnaires. Data analysis included descriptive statistics consisting of mean values, standard deviations, and frequencies, where applicable. Differences in categorical variables between groups were analyzed using the Chi-square test with a significance value of <0.005. Crude odds ratio (OR) and adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with 95% corresponding confidence intervals were calculated in regression analysis using univariate and multivariable logistic regression models. The mean age of participants was 36.33±10.09 years. More than half (53%) of the participants had been screened for cervical cancer. Among those who were aware of HPV, 46% knew that HPV causes cervical cancer and 52% were aware of the HPV vaccine. The key factors related to outcome variables were age, ethnicity, education, family, number of deliveries, and menarche. From a subgroup analysis, results from the HPV test and Pap smear test were factors related to dependent variables such as awareness of HPV and awareness of HPV vaccination.

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