Chapter 4 :Conclusion Reference List Appendix I : Survey on the Attitude of Females in Singapore towards Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Appendix II : Survey Results
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Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Background Cervical cancer is one of the top 5 most common causes of cancer deaths among women in Singapore [1,2]. Every year, an average of 85 women passed away from cervical cancer . 99% of cervical cancer is caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). To be more specific, HPV types 16 and 18 have shown to be responsible for 70% of cervical cancer cases in Singapore [3,4]. HPV infects the skin and mucous membrane and 40 types of HPV are sexually transmitted . The virus can result in the abnormal proliferation of cells, causing them to form tumors and eventually, cancer . Nevertheless, the risk of contracting cervical cancer can be reduced with the use of the vaccine, Cervarix. It contains inactivated extracts of HPV and when injected, will elicit an immune response to produce antibodies against HPV types 16 and 18 . Cervarix has been approved for use in more than 100 countries around the world and in all the 27 European Union states . It is approved for used in Singapore since year 2007. We suspect a low level of awareness to the HPV vaccine. According to the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Singapore (OGSS), only 1% of women aged between 10 and 25 were vaccinated . Efforts had been made by the health authorities in the Everything I Can Campaign launched in April 2008 to raise awareness . However, no studies to investigate the awareness of females in Singapore towards the vaccine had been found, indicating a probable low attention given to this subject.
1.2 Research Objectives The objective of our research is to determine the level of awareness and willingness of females in Singapore towards HPV and the vaccine. In addition, factors influencing decision regarding vaccination and preferred media types to acquire more information on the vaccine will be examined. A questionnaire survey was conducted on a random sample of 124 females of age 10-25 as a representation of the female population in Singapore. These questions were in the form of MCQ, Yes/No format, scaling and ranking. Data obtained from our surveys were analyzed using SPSS. 1.3 Scope Our study will only cover the views of females aged 10-25 because the vaccine is recommended for this age group. On top of that, the vaccine is most effective for females who are not sexually active, but due to privacy issues, their sexual status will not be questioned. Views from males are excluded from our study because further data regarding the benefits of vaccination in boys is required before recommendations can be made . The effectiveness of the vaccine is not considered as clinical trials are still on-going in other countries. 1.4 Organisation In the next chapter, we describe our methodology and provide insights to our survey questions. The rationale for asking each question and the question types used will be reviewed. Following this, we will analyze and discuss our results with graphs. Lastly, our key findings will be summarized in chapter 4, with the provision of limitations and future outlook.