245173 Human Papillomavirus knowledge, use, and barriers among California women, 2009

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Patricia Lee, PhD , Office of Women's Health, Department of Health Care Services, Sacramento, CA
Terri A. Thorfinnson, JD , Office of Women's Health, California Dept of Health Services, Sacramento, CA
Background: The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common cause of cervical cancer. Approximately 20 million people in the United States (U.S.) are infected with HPV. An HPV vaccine that would protect against the main types of HPV associated with cervical cancer was approved for females ages 9-26. However, less than a third of the general US population has heard of HPV with even lower awareness among young women.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine California women's awareness, use, and barriers to the HPV vaccine.

Method: Women ages 18 and older throughout California completed a telephone health survey. Differences between groups were evaluated using Chi Square statistics.

Results: About 81% of women, ages 18-26, reported being aware of HPV vaccines. Women, who were aware of HPV vaccines, were more likely to have insurance and higher income. Of women who knew of HPV vaccines, 25.0% reported having obtained at least one vaccination in 2009 compared to 8.6% in 2007. There were no significant differences of reported HPV vaccination by poverty level or insurance. The top three barriers to HPV vaccine use were: doctor did not recommend vaccine (24.5%), safety concerns (23.4%), and lack of need for vaccine (16.9%).

Conclusion: Although women, ages 18-26, reported high awareness of HPV vaccines lower levels of awareness were found among low-income and uninsured women. Educational materials on HPV and HPV vaccination, containing information that addresses potential barriers to vaccination need to be effectively targeted, to improve awareness and vaccine coverage.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives 1. Discuss women’s knowledge of HPV and HPV vaccines 2. List barriers related to women’s obtaining HPV vaccines

Keywords: STD, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee all of the research and analyses for the California Office of Women's Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.