HPV vaccine acceptability in a rural Southern area

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008 May;17(4):539-48. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2007.0489.


Background: Although cervical cancer rates in the United States are highest in Southern and rural areas, research on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine acceptability has focused on other geographic areas.

Methods: To address this gap, we surveyed women from a rural area in North Carolina with elevated rates of cervical cancer to identify predictors of HPV vaccine acceptability for themselves and their daughters.

Results: One hundred forty-six women completed questionnaires about HPV infection, cervical cancer, and HPV vaccination. The majority (62%) of respondents were African American. Most respondents intended to vaccinate an adolescent daughter against HPV. Older and African American women reported lower vaccination intentions. Higher intentions to vaccinate an adolescent daughter against HPV were associated with knowing more about HPV, believing that HPV infection and cervical cancer are both likely and have negative consequences, and believing that the HPV vaccine is effective against cervical cancer. Women reported higher intentions to get the HPV vaccine for an adolescent daughter than for themselves.

Conclusions: HPV vaccine acceptability for an adolescent daughter was associated with women's beliefs about their own healthcare needs. These findings on the HPV vaccination decisions of women in North Carolina offer insights that can inform future health communication activities intended to increase vaccination uptake in other high-risk populations of rural Southern women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Women's Health


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines