Ethnic and Racial Disparities in HPV Vaccination Attitudes

Staci S. Otanez, University of California, Irvine
Berna M. Torr, California State University, Fullerton

There are substantial racial and ethnic disparities in the rate of vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV), which helps protect against cervical cancer. Using data from the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey, we explore differences in attitudes toward vaccinating adolescent daughters for HPV between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. The purpose of this study is to help identify ways to better target interventions. Logistic regression models were used to explore whether race-ethnic differences in attitudes toward HPV vaccinations are explained by HPV knowledge, demographic and socioeconomic status, or general distrust of the healthcare system. We include interactions to explore whether the effects of HPV knowledge and doctor distrust vary by race-ethnic group. We find that greater HPV knowledge increases willingness to vaccinate for all groups except Blacks. Our findings suggest that simply increasing knowledge is not enough, but we should also design culturally appropriate interventions that address barriers to vaccination.

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Presented in Poster Session 9: Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health