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Examining word association networks: A cross-country comparison of women’s perceptions of HPV testing and vaccination.

Examining word association networks: A cross-country comparison of women’s perceptions of HPV testing and vaccination.
Author Information (click to view)

Schmid BC, Carlson J, Rezniczek GA, Wyllie J, Jaaback K, Vencovsky F,


Schmid BC, Carlson J, Rezniczek GA, Wyllie J, Jaaback K, Vencovsky F, (click to view)

Schmid BC, Carlson J, Rezniczek GA, Wyllie J, Jaaback K, Vencovsky F,

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PloS one 2017 10 0512(10) e0185669 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0185669
Abstract

In this study, we examined the perceptual associations women hold with regard to cervical cancer testing and vaccination across two countries, the U.S. and Australia. In a large-scale online survey, we presented participants with ‘trigger’ words, and asked them to state sequentially other words that came to mind. We used this data to construct detailed term co-occurrence network graphs, which we analyzed using basic topological ranking techniques. The results showed that women hold divergent perceptual associations regarding trigger words relating to cervical cancer screening tools, i.e. human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and vaccination, which indicate health knowledge deficiencies with non-HPV related associations emerging from the data. This result was found to be consistent across the country groups studied. Our findings are critical in optimizing consumer education and public service announcements to minimize misperceptions relating to HPV testing and vaccination in order to maximize adoption of cervical cancer prevention tools.

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