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Healthcare (Basel) ; 11(10)2023 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243865


Cervical cancer is a significant global health concern affecting young women, with over 500,000 new cases reported annually. This questionnaire-based study aimed to evaluate the knowledge of cervical cancer prevention among female students at the University of Novi Sad during the COVID-19 pandemic using the Cervical Cancer Knowledge Prevention-64 (CCKP-64) tool. The study sample consisted of 402 predominantly 20-22-year-old female students from either social or technical science faculties in urban environments. Results revealed that out of the 402 female students involved in the study, most had a good general knowledge of primary prevention of cervical cancer, with a correct answer rate ranging from 29.9 to 80.6%. On the contrary, only 63.4% of female students have heard about the vaccine against cervical cancer; 52.0% know that the vaccine exists in Serbia; and 31.8% know where to get vaccinated. Only a small proportion of students (9.7%) have encountered cervical cancer among their relatives/friends and think that the disease could affect them in the future (25.4%). Older students (>26 years) generally (p < 0.05) had better knowledge regarding distressing symptoms of cervical cancer, cytological examination and secondary prevention; however, it was also noted that a significant percentage of this age group reported not having received vaccinations (53.0%, p = 0.001). This study underscores the need for increased awareness and education about the HPV vaccine and secondary prevention among young women in Serbia. Future research should investigate knowledge and attitudes toward cervical cancer prevention in diverse populations to develop effective interventions and strategies. These findings have implications for public health policies in Serbia to promote cervical cancer prevention among young women.