HPV vaccine: A comparison of attitudes and behavioral perspectives between Latino and non-Latino women

Luisa A Watts, Naima Joseph, Maria Wallace, Jose A Rauh-Hain, Alona Muzikansky, Whitfield B Growdon, Marcela G del Carmen
Gynecologic Oncology 2009, 112 (3): 577-82

OBJECTIVE: Recent scientific advances have lead to the development of a prophylactic, quadrivalent HPV vaccine conferring. We surveyed Latino and non-Latino women directly to examine what motivates them to vaccinate themselves, their daughters, and their sons.

METHODS: A written survey was administered to 86 Latinas and 141 non-Latinas, ages 18-55, and attending a general medicine, gynecology, or pediatric unit at an academic center. The instrument included questions on demographics, knowledge and attitudes toward the HPV vaccine, attitudes toward HPV vaccination for the respondents' daughters and/or sons, and the effect of vaccine acceptability on women's attitudes towards their sexual behavior and cervical cancer screening practices.

RESULTS: Acceptance for the HPV vaccine was high, with 73% of non-vaccinated, eligible women stating that they would vaccinate themselves. Cervical cancer prevention was the primary motivation for seeking vaccination. Most respondents reported that vaccination should still be accompanied by cervical cancer screening. Seventy-percent of eligible respondent agreed to vaccinate their daughters (97% of Latino and 68.2% of non-Latino mothers, p=0.0078). Eighty-six percent of eligible participants agreed to vaccinate their sons (92.3% of Latino and 76.9% of non-Latino mothers, p=0.0490). Cervical cancer prevention and anal/penile cancer prevention were the primary motivation reported for accepting the vaccine in their daughters and sons, respectively. Fewer than 20% of eligible respondents cited protection of women against developing cervical cancer as the motivation to vaccinate their son(s).

CONCLUSIONS: Among vaccine-eligible women, HPV vaccination acceptance for themselves, their daughters, and potentially their sons is high and primarily motivated by cancer prevention for the individual vaccinated.

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