Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 260–268 | Cite as

Awareness and Knowledge Levels of Turkish College Students about Human Papilloma Virus Infection and Vaccine Acceptance

  • Murat Oz
  • Nilufer Cetinkaya
  • Aysen Apaydin
  • Elmas Korkmaz
  • Sevda Bas
  • Emre Ozgu
  • Tayfun Gungor


Awareness of HPV by the target population is an important determinant of vaccine acceptance. The aim of this study is to evaluate the awareness of HPV infection and acceptability of the HPV vaccines among Turkish college students. College students aged 18–30 who were attending a large public university in Ankara participated in this study. The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire to elicit demographic characteristics, awareness level of HPV and HPV vaccine, and willingness to be vaccinated. One thousand one hundred sixty students responded to the invitation email and completed the questionnaire. The mean scores of female students about HPV and HPV vaccine were 7.1/15 and 3.6/9, respectively, while these scores were 7.9/15 and 3.4/9 among male students, respectively. While 51 % percent of female and 33.5 % of male students had heard of HPV and 32.8 % and 18 % of them had heard of HPV vaccine, respectively, only 1.5 % of female and 0.4 % of male students had been vaccinated against HPV. A total of 507 students (43.7 %) had previously heard of HPV. Only 309 (26.6 %) of the participants had previously heard of the HPV vaccine, and 45.1 % of the students were willing to receive HPV vaccination. The main predictors for willingness to be vaccinated were the following: sexual experience, sexual behavior, past history of sexually transmitted infection (STI), and knowledge about HPV and HPV vaccine. Higher awareness levels of HPV and HPV vaccine are significantly related to greater willingness to be vaccinated, and the main reasons for rejecting the vaccine were insufficient information about the vaccine and possible unknown side effects.


Human papilloma virus (HPV) HPV vaccine Vaccine awareness Vaccine acceptance 



The study was approved by the Local Institutional Ethics Committee (approval number: 28.10.2014-10).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The local Hospital’s Ethics Committee and the University’s Institutional Review Board approved this study.

Financial Disclosure

There is no financial support in the preparation of the study.

Financial Support for Authors


Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murat Oz
    • 1
  • Nilufer Cetinkaya
    • 1
  • Aysen Apaydin
    • 2
  • Elmas Korkmaz
    • 1
  • Sevda Bas
    • 1
  • Emre Ozgu
    • 1
  • Tayfun Gungor
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Gynecological OncologyZekai Tahir Burak Women’s Health HospitalAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Division of StatisticsAnkara University Science FacultyAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsHitit UniversityCorumTurkey

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