Attitudes Toward the HPV Vaccine among University Students: Identifying Barriers to Vaccine Uptake
Term of Award
Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)
Document Type and Release Option
Dissertation (open access)
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
College of Public Health
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Non-Voting Committee Member
Background: In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 32,000 cancers occur annually that can be directly attributable to the acquisition of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Gender specificity data posits that 21,000 of the annual cancer cases are female and the remaining 11,000 cases occur among males. However, because the implementation and trajectory of HPV vaccination and prevention programs have been historically aimed toward women, vaccination rates for men remain significantly lower. The purpose of this study was to assess gender differences in knowledge attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control about HPV and the intention to be vaccinated among a sample of university students. The Theory of Planned Behavior was employed as the theoretical framework for the study. Methods: a stratified proportional random sample of students attending one university with multiple campuses was utilized to collect data. Each campus site constituted a stratum, with two or more classes of an undergraduate level randomly selected from each campus. Results: A total of 383 usable surveys were obtained, which is consistent with obtaining a final sample size of 380 based on the power analysis of p≤0.05. A response rate of 84% was obtained which included face to face and on-line administrations. Overall results indicate a significant difference in male and female vaccination rates with females 1.945 times (1.450, 2.607) more likely to have been vaccinated against HPV than males (received all three doses); Males were less knowledgeable than females on specific facts about HPV and the vaccination; were less likely to be influenced by family or peers to receive the vaccination and less likely to perceive their ability (perceived behavioral control) to obtain the HPV vaccine as high. Best practices for health education emphasize skill acquisition however, the results of this study suggest university health education programs need to include a strong knowledge component along with self-efficacy skills and positive awareness messages on the benefits of receiving the HPV vaccine.
Harbaugh, Kristina L., "Attitudes Toward the HPV Vaccine among University Students: Identifying Barriers to Vaccine Uptake" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2077.
Research Data and Supplementary Material