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Knowledge, attitude, and practice on human papillomavirus vaccination among obstetrics and gynecology residents in Metro Manila

Katrina Immaculada F. Decena, MD and Doris R. Benavides, MD, FPOGS
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines-Manila

Background: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has been known to be an important factor in the development of cervical cancer. In 2006, two vaccines were made available in the Philippines, one covering two subtypes (HPV 16 and 18) and the other covers four subtypes (HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18) of the virus.

Objectives: This study aimed to determine the current knowledge, attitude, and practices of obstetrics and gynecology residents from both government and private sector regarding HPV vaccination as well as determine barriers to vaccination. It also aimed to determine if there is any disparity between the private and government setting, and between residency year levels which may create a discrepancy in the vaccination coverage of their patients.

Methods: Data will be collected through a self-administered questionnaire. The survey to be used in this study was adapted from the form used in a similar study done in Hong-Kong. The questionnaire will consist of five sections: 1) items regarding the respondents’ demographics (age; sex; institution type; residency training year level; number of patients seen in a typical week; number of patients seen in a week aged 10-17, 18-26, and 27-45; number of pap smears performed in a typical week), 2) Knowledge on human papillomavirus infection, 3) Attitude towards HPV vaccine, 4) HPV vaccination practice, and 5) Perceived barriers in HPV vaccination.

Results: This study found that the knowledge of residents about human papilloma virus was generally poor to fair with no significant difference between the knowledge of residents from government institutions compared to those from the private sector. Majority of the residents believe that the vaccine should be administered to 10-17 years old, prior to sexual debut and exposure to the human papilloma virus but were not able to prescribe vaccination for this age group. The perceived barriers of residents in prescribing and vaccinating their patients differ between age groups. For 10-17 years old, parental refusal for vaccinating their children is due to the notion that in doing so, their child is being singled out as being at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. For patients 18-26 years old, residents believe that their reluctance to discuss and talk about issues of sexuality are likely to hinder them from getting
vaccinated. For the 27-45-year-old age group, the residents believe that the patient’s belief that they do not have HPV infection is likely to hinder them being vaccinated.

Conclusion: Proper education and good communication skills among residents and patients should be developed to properly employ and promote vaccination.