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Survey Exposes Communication Gap Between Providers/Patients Regarding HPV and Cervical Cancer

About the Survey

A new survey from the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) evaluates patient and health care provider attitudes and perceptions of cervical cancer and its cause the human papillomavirus (HPV). The findings show that women and their health care providers are not communicating about the relationship between cervical cancer, one of the only preventable cancers, and HPV. ARHP hopes these results will encourage women to empower themselves with information about cervical cancer to make educated health care decisions, express their concerns during doctor visits, and request regular screenings with the Pap test and, for women 30 and older, inquire about HPV testing.

Methodology/Results

A survey, fielded by Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research Inc., was conducted among 1,000 women between the ages of 18 and 65 from February 11 16, 2005. A single-stage random-digit-dial sample representative of residential telephone numbers from all 50 states was used.

Quick Facts

  • Women are conscientious about their gynecological/reproductive health
  • Women trust their provider for medical education and feel comfortable talking to them about important health issues. However, they are not communicating about cervical cancer/HPV
  • There is a direct relationship between time spent with their health care provider and patient knowledge about cervical cancer/HPV
  • Women do not understand the link between cervical cancer and HPV
  • Dangerous knowledge gaps exist for women most at risk for cervical cancer: High risk does not correlate with understanding
  • There is a disparity in patterns of knowledge about HPV among different demographics

The survey was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Digene Corporation.