Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Factors Associated with HPV Vaccine Use among Hispanic College Students

Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Factors Associated with HPV Vaccine Use among Hispanic College Students

Article excerpt

Timmerie F. Cohen, PhD

Jeffrey S. Legg, PhD

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States and is linked strongly to cervical cancer. Hispanic women are at increased risk of cervical cancer from HPV due to lower screening rates with women in their early 20s at increased risk. PURPOSE: The purpose of this project was to describe HPV vaccination rates and possible barriers to vaccination among a sample of U.S. college-aged Hispanic women. METHODS: A secondary analysis of the American College Health Association's National College Health Assessment was completed to determine HPV vaccine rates and factors influencing vaccine use among college-aged Hispanic women (n=4,718). Descriptive statistics were calculated and binary logistic regression employed to determine the association of various socioeconomic and health-seeking behaviors on HPV vaccine utilization. RESULTS: Only 46.2% of Hispanic women in the NCHA reported receiving an HPV vaccine. Binary logistic regression analysis indicates that having health insurance, use of preventive care, and good health status are significantly associated with HPV vaccine use. DISCUSSION: Hispanic college women ages 18-26 demonstrated lower HPV vaccination rates as compared to Caucasian women. Tailoring health promotion activities to specific racial populations such as Hispanic women is necessary to decrease disparities in HPV vaccination rates. The fact that racial/ethnic minority women in the U.S. have lower HPV vaccination rates and gynecological exam rates indicates that specialized health promotion activities may be an avenue for designing educational strategies to lessen disparities. J Allied Health 2014; 43(4): 241-246.

Dr. Cohen, PhD, RT(R)(T), CMD, is Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator of Radiation Therapy, and Dr. Legg, PhD, RT(R)(CT)(QM), is Associate Professor and Chair, in the Department of Radiation Sciences, School of Allied Health Professions, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.

RA1413-Received Jan 16, 2014; accepted Mar 17, 2014.

Address correspondence to: Dr. Jeffrey Legg, 701 W Grace St, Suite 2100, Box 843057, Richmond, VA 23284-3057, USA. Tel 804-828-9104, fax 804828-5778. jlegg@vcu.edu.

© 2014 Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, Wash., DC.

HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV) vaccination is a voluntary yet highly recommended vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Despite the approval of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), barriers to vaccination exist. Immunization strategies to reach targeted populations (i.e., those who benefit from the vaccine) include strategic planning by public health officials, healthcare organizations, healthcare providers, advocates, and other stakeholders. Research is imperative to gain an understanding of the barriers to vaccination adoption; the United States has an increasingly diverse population. Gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, education, and healthcare utilization patterns are some of the factors shown in the literature to influence vaccination uptake.

This research describes HPV vaccination rates and possible barriers to HPV vaccination among Hispanic college women ages 18-26 years. The American College Health Association's National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey was used in this analysis. The NCHA provides a large sample (n=4,718) of college women to evaluate issues concerning HPV vaccination among Hispanic women.

Background

HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the U.S. and has been strongly linked to cervical and other cancers (e.g., anal, oropharyngeal, penile). According to the CDC, 50% of the reproductiveage population in the U.S. has been infected with HPV. Approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed annually with cervical cancer annually and 4,000 each year die of the disease. …

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