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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Socio-cognitive factors influencing Greek lyceum female students’ intention to receive a Pap smear and a vaccine against HPV

Apostolos Εfkarpidis / George Koulierakis
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Sociology, National School of Public Health, 196 Alexandras Avenue, 112 51 Athens, Greece, Phone: 00302132010169
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/ Polichronis Efkarpidis
Published Online: 2018-10-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0005



The human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for 99.7% of cervix cancers worldwide. As this is a preventable and treatable cancer, if diagnosed early, it is important to explore not only young women’s related knowledge, but also their intentions for prevention activities, through a theoretical perspective.


To investigate the role of the Health Belief Model (HBM) and the Health Locus of Control theory (HLC) (social cognitive models) to act as potentially influencing factors for the prevention intentions among lyceum female students.


This cross-sectional study took place from January to May 2014, among 1129 female students, who attended lyceums in six islands of the Cyclades Region, Greece. Students filled-in a self-complementary questionnaire, after the necessary approval was provided by the relevant authorities.


Intention to take the Pap smear was determined by student’s level of knowledge (p < 0.001) about Pap smears, their age (p = 0.004), HPV susceptibility (p < 0.001), subjective obstacles of taking the Pap smear (p < 0.001) and subjective benefits of the Pap smear (p < 0.001). The vaccination intention against HPV was influenced by the subjective benefit from vaccination (p < 0.001) and the level of knowledge of the vaccine (p < 0.001).


Knowledge, age and HBM variables were significantly associated with students’ intention for vaccination and screening on HPV. The study demonstrates the importance of raising awareness through specific education programmes in schools and theory-based tailored health programmes on HPV aspects (transmission, prevention, treatment) to increase the intention for prevention.

Keywords: HPV; HPV vaccine; intentions; Pap smear; social cognitive models


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About the article

Received: 2018-01-07

Accepted: 2018-05-27

Published Online: 2018-10-20

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20180005, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0005.

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