Online Program

Eliciting college females' salient beliefs about HPV vaccination

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hannah Priest, CHES, MAED, Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
David A. Birch, PhD, MCHES, Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Adam Knowlden, CHES, MBA, MS, Ph.D., Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection in the United States. While college females are at high risk for HPV infection, HPV vaccine initiation and series completion rates are relatively low among this population. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) proposes that behavioral, normative, and control beliefs impact behavioral intention, and subsequently, behavior. The purpose of this study was to elicit college females’ salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs about getting the HPV vaccine series. Methods: Vaccine-eligible, undergraduate college females between 18 and 26 years of age who were enrolled in personal health courses during fall 2014 completed an open-ended, TPB-based, salient belief elicitation questionnaire. Respondents listed salient advantages/disadvantages, salient referents, and salient factors/circumstances for getting the HPV vaccine series in the next 12 months. Three respondents participated in a pilot test of the questionnaire. Two researchers independently performed the content analysis. The investigators reached 100% consensus on the extracted themes through discussion. Results: A total of 24 unvaccinated undergraduate females participated. Content analysis identified six salient advantages/disadvantages, including protection against HPV, good idea, adverse side effects, ineffective, negative health effects, and discomfort with needles. Doctors, mothers, friends, parent(s), and family members were the most salient referents. Vaccine cost, clinic location, and time were the most salient factors/circumstances. Participants held several misconceptions about the HPV vaccine. Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest college females may benefit from programs that provide medically accurate information about the HPV vaccine, and address corresponding behavioral, normative, and control beliefs.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of HPV vaccination for college females. Discuss the rationale for identifying salient beliefs about HPV vaccination. List the steps to conduct a qualitative content analysis for the purpose of identifying salient HPV vaccination beliefs. Identify behavioral, normative, and control beliefs to address in HPV vaccination interventions designed for college females.

Keyword(s): Immunizations, Cancer and Women’s Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have chaired or been a member of numerous dissertation committees and co-chaired the dissertation that is the basis for this presentation. One of my areas of interest is child and adolescent 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.