Patel, H and Moss, EL and Sherman, SM (2018) HPV Primary Cervical Screening in England: Women’s Awareness and Attitudes. Psycho-Oncology. ISSN 1099-1611 (In Press)

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Primary HPV cervical screening is due to be implemented in England within the next 2 years however, the acceptability of HPV testing as the primary screening test is unclear. This study explores women’s awareness and attitudes towards HPV testing/screening.

Qualitative interviews (semi-structured and focus group) were conducted with forty-six women (aged 25-65 years) from community and secondary care settings. Data was analysed using the inductive-framework method.

Women were unaware that cervical screening currently includes HPV testing and lacked HPV-related knowledge. Emotions of shock, fear and anxiety were reported upon receiving a positive HPV result. For women in long-term relationships, the realisation that HPV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) was seen as a barrier to primary HPV testing. Knowledge that HPV testing is a screening test to prevent cervical cancer did not change their attitudes. Women debated the need for continued screening following a negative result. Women feared judgement by the community if they participated with primary HPV screening because they were being tested for an STI, with the possible attendant perception that they had adopted a high-risk lifestyle in comparison to non-attenders.

The acceptability of HPV testing may be a limiting factor in encouraging participation with screening in the future.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: cervical cancer, cervical screening, HPV attitudes, HPV testing, primary HPV screening
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2018 14:37
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2018 14:43

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