Knowledge and attitudes about the human papillomavirus among students enrolled in an introductory community health education class

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Chute, Peggy J.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Physiology and Health Science
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The problem of this study was to assess college students' knowledge and attitudes about the human papillomavirus.Purpose of the StudyThe purpose of the study was to determine HPV knowledge and attitudes of students enrolled in an introductory community health education course. This information was extremely important to collect due to the fact HPV is the most commonly transmitted STD in the United Stated and there is widespread misinformation among health care providers, educators and the general public about all the aspects of HPV and its consequences. (CDC, 2001) This study will provide students enrolled in the introductory community health education course with an enhanced understanding of HPV and STD prevention education and the issues that surround it. Knowledge gained from this project will help better prepare students especially preservice nursing and community health educators for their future role in either the hospital or community setting. Over the last 10 years, little emphasis has been placed on HPV education and prevention. Compared to other STD's HPV has taken a backseat to acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS) and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which present with more immediate health concerns.The new rate of infections for HPV is typically highest during the late teen and early twenties. Studies have found HPV is widespread across racial and ethnic groups (Ho, Bierman, Beardsley, Chang, & Burk, 1998). Annual cost burdens for genital HPV are the second highest after HIV infection, existing estimates of these costs range from $1.6 billion to $6 billion. These estimates do not include costs for lost time and wages or intangible costs such as emotional pain anxiety and disrupted relationships (CDC, 2002). Currently, research is being done on the effectiveness of a HPV vaccine and it's acceptability with men and women, but at this time there is no cure for this transmittable virus. The study was delimited to: 1. The sample for this study comprised of 85 students Ball State University students enrolled in an introductory community health education course. 2. A 41-question instrument (questionnaire) designed to determine knowledge and attitudes about HPV was utilized. 3. The instrument was administered to students enrolled in a Principals of Community Health Class (HSC 180). Studies were given 15 minutes of class time to fill out questionnaire. 4. The instrument was administered on April 9, 2003. 5. Data was collected and analyzed using SPSS 11.5.