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Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of School Nurses in the United Arab Emirates about HPV Infection and Vaccine

  • Ortashi, Osman (Gynecology Oncology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University) ;
  • Shallal, Musa (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, United Arab Emirates University) ;
  • Osman, Nawal (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University) ;
  • Raheel, Hina (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University)
  • Published : 2012.12.31

Abstract

Background: In 2008, the Health Authority in Abu Dhabi (the capital of the United Arab Emirates) introduced HPV vaccine free of charge for high school girls entering grade 11, becoming the first state in the Middle East to do so. The objectives of this study were to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of school nurses in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi about HPV infection and the vaccine. Materials and Methods: A quantitative study was designed and conducted from June to August 2012 in Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Data were collected through direct face to face interviews. from one hundred and twenty five nurses. Results: Knowledge of HPV infection and HPV vaccine was almost universal among the school nurses (97%). The majority of the participants (71%) thought that the HPV vaccine was good. Cultural unacceptability (45%) and lack of women's concern about their own health (21%) were rated as the top barriers for the successful introduction of the vaccine in the UAE. More than half of the sampled nurses (58%) have either given this vaccine to school girls or taken it themselves. The majority (95%) did not come across any side effects from the vaccine. The level of qualification and the place of work did not significantly affect the correct knowledge of HPV infection or cervical cancer prevention methods. Conclusions: The knowledge and attitude of the sampled school nurses in Abu Dhabi State about HPV infection and vaccine is very good in both the public and private sectors. However, a knowledge gap in cervical cancer screening methods was identified.

Keywords

HPV vaccine;cervical cancer;school nurses;United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

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