Basic Survey for Development of a Cervical Cancer Prevention Education Program for High School Students: The State of Cervical Cancer Education in Japanese High Schools

Monday, 30 July 2012

Junko Shida, RN, MN
Department of nursing, Yamagata Prefectual University of Health Sciences, Yamagata city, Japan
Yoshiko Sekito, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, Miyagi University, Taiwa-cho, Japan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to learn the current status of cervical cancer education at high schools in Japan.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand the problems and requirements for developing a cervical cancer prevention education program for high school students.


 To examine the current status of cervical cancer education in high schools in order to develop a high school cervical cancer prevention health education program.


 A total of 206 health and physical education teachers at all 64 high schools in Prefecture A of northeast Japan were mailed an anonymous self-reporting questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of questions relating to socio-demographics, the status of high school health and physical education classes on cervical cancer, impressions of cervical cancer classes, and the willingness to use newly developed cervical cancer teaching materials. Approval was received from the ethics committee of our university.


 Responses were collected from 96 teachers (46.6%; mean age, 39.7±9.7 years; 75 males); 32 taught cervical cancer classes, contents of which included: “increase in cervical cancer among young women” (59.4%), “cervical cancer examinations” (43.8%), and “human papillomavirus vaccinations” (28.1%). Irrespective of whether they taught such classes, 58 teachers felt that they “lacked knowledge” and 38 felt that “it is an important topic that should be taught.” Eighty-six teachers responded that they would consider using newly developed teaching materials, and teachers who understood the importance of these classes were significantly more inclined to consider using these materials.


The rate of cervical cancer examinations in Japan is low, at about 20%. This study clarified that the rate at which these classes are offered in high schools remains low. Yet, the desire to use educational materials relating to cervical cancer was high, at roughly 90%. These findings suggest the following requirements for developing an effective educational program: (1) creation of a research group aimed at health and physical education teachers, and (2) since health and physical education teachers in Japan are predominantly male, efforts should be made that allow male teachers to comfortably teach such material to female students.