OBJECTIVE: To assess Syrian women's level of knowledge and determinants of good knowledge of cervical cancer, HPV infection and its vaccines.
METHODS: A cross sectional survey was undertaken among mothers with daughters in sixth grade classes enrolled in primary schools in Aleppo city, Syria. Samples were selected through cluster sampling and data collected using a self-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS: Less than a third of the mothers had heard of HPV infection and vaccines against cervical cancer and levels of knowledge were generally low. Good knowledge was associated with high education level, higher family monthly income, having few--less than four children, positive history of cervical cancer screening, and working or having relatives working in the medical field. The main source of information was television and few reported health care providers as a source of knowledge on HPV infection and vaccine.
CONCLUSION: Since knowledge of HPV infection and its connection with cervical cancer and its vaccine are low, more efforts must be made to educate Syrians prior to introduction of any HPV vaccination programme. Public health efforts must focus on educating mothers, the public as well as health care providers.