Knowledge about human papilloma virus (HPV) disease and vaccination among primary health care nurses at Nelson Mandela Bay clinics
Background: Primary prevention of cervical cancer is recommended by prophylactic HPV vaccine administration to girls before sexual debut. Vaccination coverage can be increased by nurses’ counselling and recommendations to parents.
Objectives: Our aim was to investigate the knowledge of nurses working in primary health care clinics in the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) area, Port Elizabeth, on HPV disease and vaccine. We also explored the attitudes and perceptions of the nurses on HPV vaccine.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study by means of self-administered questionnaires, completed anonymously by nurses in primary health care clinics in NMB. Data were collected on participants’ demographics, knowledge of HPV infection and – vaccine as well as their attitude and perception regarding the HPV vaccine.
Results: The mean age of participating nurses was 46.9 years, and about 75% had more than fi ve years’ work experience. Knowledge on HPV transmission and its prevention was good, but was lacking on HPV vaccine and vaccination. Respondents showed a positive attitude and perception towards the HPV vaccine.
Conclusion: Our study showed that the nurses at Nelson Mandela Bay clinics have limited knowledge about HPV and had poor knowledge about the HPV vaccine itself and to whom and when to administer it.