BELIEFS AND ATTITUDES REGARDING HPV VACCINATION AMONG COLLEGE-AGE WOMEN: AN APPLICATION OF THE HEALTH BELIEF MODEL
Hoffman, Mary Ann
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The human papillomavirus (HPV) represents the most common sexually transmitted disease. The development of the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, protects women from becoming infected. The current study examined attitudes toward the HPV vaccine in 150 college-age women who had received the vaccine and 58 college-age women who had not. Data were collected using an online survey and correlations and regression analyses were run to assess for relationships between the variables of interest. Using the Health Belief Model (HBM), predictor variables included perceived benefits, barriers, susceptibility and severity regarding HPV infection and vaccination. Additional psychosocial variables were also explored. Results indicate that for unvaccinated women, perceived benefits accounted for unique variance in predicting vaccine intentions. Moreover, self-efficacy, cues to action and subjective norms all accounted for unique variance in differentiating vaccinated from unvaccinated women. In summary, women's decision to get the vaccine involves a complex interplay of factors.