BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide. Studies evaluating the effect of health education on knowledge and perception of cervical cancer have generated conflicting results. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of educational intervention towards knowledge of HPV vacccination for cervical cancer prevention among pre-university students in Malaysia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was an experimental before and after study performed between October 2014 and March 2015. Five hundred and eighty students were randomly assigned into intervention and control groups. All were required to complete both pre-intervention and post-intervention questionnaires. Those in the intervention group were given an information leaflet to read before answering the post-intervention questionnaire.
RESULTS: Almost half (48.3%) of the students had poor knowledge, with a score less than 5, and only 51 (8.8%) exhibited good knowledge, with a score of 11 and above. After educational intervention, the number of students with poor knowledge was reduced to 177 (29.3%) and the number of students who exhibited good knowledge increased to 148 (25.5%). Students from the intervention group demonstrated significant higher total scores in knowledge regarding 'HPV infection and cervical cancer' (p=0.000) and 'HPV vaccination and cervical cancer prevention' (p=0.000) during post-intervention as compared to the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge on HPV infection and vaccination is low among pre-university students. Educational intervention in the form of information leaflets appears effective in creating awareness and improving knowledge.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.