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Objectives: This study aimed to assess the knowledge of and attitude toward cervical cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV) among Omani women aged 18 years and older. Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted between September 2019 and February 2020 in primary healthcare facilities throughout Oman. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to assess women’s knowledge and attitude regarding cervical cancer and HPV. Results: A total of 805 women participated in the study (response rate: 89%). Two-thirds of the participants had heard about cervical cancer (67.5%) while fewer were aware of HPV (15.8%). Approximately one-third of the women identified HPV as a risk factor for developing cervical cancer (38.9%). Very few participants knew of HPV vaccines (10.1%). A major source of information regarding both cervical cancer and HPV was social media (33.0%), as compared to healthcare providers (16.9%). Despite the poor knowledge, almost half of the participants were open to having their daughters (47.0%) and other schoolgirls (41.2%) vaccinated. Conclusion: Most participants had poor knowledge of cervical cancer and HPV, even those with a personal or family history of cervical cancer. The main source of knowledge was social media. Most participants were open to the idea of offering the HPV vaccine to their daughters and middle school-aged girls. Incorporating information about cervical cancer and HPV into school curricula and improving access to trusted medical knowledge through social media may help in enriching the public’s knowledge and, possibly, correcting misinformation and related myths.
Keywords: Papillomavirus Vaccines; Cervical Cancer; Surveys and Questionnaires; Risk Factors; Community-Institutional Relations; Knowledge; Attitude; Oman.
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