HPV vaccination among ethnic minorities in the UK: knowledge, acceptability and attitudes

Br J Cancer. 2011 Aug 9;105(4):486-92. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.272.


Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination offers a unique opportunity for the primary prevention of cervical cancer. Studies suggest that knowledge and attitudes about the vaccine are likely to influence uptake. One limitation of most studies assessing HPV vaccine knowledge, attitudes and acceptability is their under representation of ethnic minorities. It is important to ensure that our understanding of HPV knowledge and attitudes include all ethnic groups in the UK. This article reviews research that has considered knowledge, acceptability and attitudes about HPV and the HPV vaccine among ethnic minorities in the UK.

Methods: Articles in Medline, CINAHL and PsycINFO (January 2000-March 2010) were searched.

Results: A total of 17 UK-based papers examined knowledge, attitudes or acceptability related to HPV vaccination in the 'lay' population (parents, adolescents or the general population as opposed to health professionals) and reported findings by ethnicity.

Conclusion: Findings seem to suggest lower awareness of HPV and lower acceptability of the vaccination, which could be important if they are reflected in uptake. More research is needed with ethnic minority groups, particularly in the context of the vaccination programme.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alphapapillomavirus* / immunology
  • Child
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Vaccination / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Parents*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Tumor Virus Infections / complications
  • Tumor Virus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines