MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Rachel J Sacks
Jefferiss Wing, St Mary’s Hospital
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust,
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background of this study?
Dr. Sacks: 2247 anonymous questionnaires were completed by young women, aged 13-19 years old, attending sexual health services across England, looking at their HPV vaccination outcomes and prevalence of risk factors associated with HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development, and comparing the survey results with national data where available. Known HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development risk factors include cigarette smoking, early age at first intercourse, increasing number of lifetime partners, co-infection with other sexually transmitted infections.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study
- Young women, aged 13 to 19 years old attending sexual health services across England had higher prevalence of known risk factors associated with HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development, compared with national data.
- Survey respondents had lower HPV vaccination offer and lower HPV vaccination completion rates than nationally.
- Subgroups within the survey respondents were identified as having a significantly lower offer and significantly lower completion rate of the HPV vaccination. These subgroups included respondents from London, those of non-white ethnicities, 17 to 19 year olds, smokers and those not in education, employment or training (NEETs).
- The highest risk individuals, in terms of HPV related risk factors, were the least likely to be offered and additional the least likely to complete the HPV vaccination course.
- Currently sexual health services in England are not involved in the delivery of the HPV vaccination programme and this is felt to be a huge missed opportunity for the primary prevention of HPV acquisition and its potential sequelae. Sexual health services should be included as a supplementary HPV vaccination delivery site in order to target these particularly vulnerable young women and to increase the success of the HPV vaccination programme in England.