With the introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and vaccination in the UK, health professionals will start to receive questions about their patients’ virus. This study aimed to identify the critical about HPV that British women will ask when considering having an HPV test or vaccination.
Face-to-face interviews were carried out with 21 women to discover what they wanted to know about HPV. A thematic framework approach was used to analyze the data and identify key themes in women’s HPV knowledge requirements.
Women’s questions about HPV fell into six areas: identity, cause, timeline, consequences, and control-cure. Besides, they asked procedural questions about testing and vaccination. These mapped well onto the dimensions identified in Leventhal’s description of lay models of illness, called the ‘Common Sense Model’ (CSM).
These results indicated that most of the questions women asked about HPV fitted well into the CSM, which therefore provides a structure for women’s information needs. The findings could help health professionals understand what questions they may be expected to answer. Framing educational materials using the CSM themes may also help health educators achieve a good fit with what the public wants to know.