An opportunity for cancer prevention during preadolescence and adolescence: Stopping human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancer through HPV vaccination

Tami L. Thomas, Ora Strickland, Ralph Diclemente, Melinda Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: We conducted a descriptive study of the correlates of refusal and acceptance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination by rural parents of preadolescent and adolescent children. We hypothesized that the correlates of parents who allow their children aged 9 to 13 years to get the HPV vaccine and those of parents who do not allow vaccination would differ significantly. Methods: This cross-sectional study was implemented during the school years 2009-2011 in the elementary and middle schools of three rural counties in Georgia. Parents were recruited at school functions to complete an anonymous validated survey. Results: Parents who chose to vaccinate their children or intended to vaccinate were twice as likely to be from a race other than African American and 2.7 times more likely to have a religion other than Baptist. Using stepwise logistic regression and after adjustment for race and religion, we found that parents who had vaccinated or intended to vaccinate had significantly higher scores on perceived barriers (1.02 times more likely to vaccinate) and lower scores on perceived benefits (1.01 times more likely to vaccinate) (model p <.001). Conclusions: The results suggest that healthcare providers in rural areas can increase HPV vaccine uptake and reduce HPV-related cancers by using a multifaceted approach to educating their patients within the context of the patients' cultural values, geographic location, and economic situation. Such an approach could dispel misinformation and increase vaccine uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S60-S68
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume52
Issue number5 SUPPL
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Keywords

  • Adolescent health
  • Cancer prevention
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Human papilloma virus vaccine
  • Parents
  • Rural health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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