The high prevalence of HPV infection among Kazakhstani women and the absence of an HPV vaccination program are directly reflected in increasing rates of cervical cancer incidence and mortality. Kazakhstan made its first attempt at introducing the HPV vaccine in 2013, but
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The high prevalence of HPV infection among Kazakhstani women and the absence of an HPV vaccination program are directly reflected in increasing rates of cervical cancer incidence and mortality. Kazakhstan made its first attempt at introducing the HPV vaccine in 2013, but was unsuccessful due to complications and low public acceptance. The attitudes of Kazakhstani women towards the vaccine were never measured. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the attitudes of women towards the HPV vaccine and determine factors associated with positive, negative, or neutral attitudes. Methods.
A 29-item survey consisting of 21 demographic and contextual questions and 8 Likert-scale questions was distributed among women attending gynecological offices in four major cities of Kazakhstan from December 2021 until February 2022. Attitudes of women were measured based on their answers to the eight Likert-scale questions. Ordinal logistic regression was built to find associations between demographic characteristics and attitudes of women. Results.
Two hundred thirty-three women were included in the final analysis. A total of 54% of women had positive attitudes towards the vaccine. The majority of women did not trust or had a neutral attitude towards the government, pharmaceutical industry, and traditional and alternative media. However, the trust of women was high in medical workers and scientific researchers. Women’s age, education, number of children, effect of the 2013 HPV program, and trust in alternative medicine were included in the ordinal logistic model. Women with a low level of education, a high number of children, who believe in alternative medicine, and who were affected by the failed 2013 vaccination program were less likely to have a positive attitude towards the vaccine. Conclusions.
Contrary attitudes towards HPV vaccination exist among Kazakhstani women, with approximately half having positive and almost half having negative or neutral attitudes towards the vaccine. An informational campaign that takes into consideration women’s levels of trust in different agencies, as well as targets those who are the most uninformed, might help in a successful relaunch of the HPV vaccination program. However, more studies that cover a higher number of women are required.