Using Social Marketing Theory as a Framework for Understanding and Increasing HPV Vaccine Series Completion Among Hispanic Adolescents: A Qualitative Study

J Community Health. 2017 Feb;42(1):169-178. doi: 10.1007/s10900-016-0244-0.


HPV vaccine series completion rates among adolescent Hispanic females and males (~39 and 21 %, respectively) are far below the Healthy People 80 % coverage goal. Completion of the 3-dose vaccine series is critical to reducing the incidence of HPV-associated cancers. This formative study applies social marketing theory to assess the needs and preferences of Hispanic mothers in order to guide the development of interventions to increase HPV vaccine completion. We conducted 51 in-depth interviews with Hispanic mothers of adolescents to identify the key concepts of social marketing theory (i.e., the four P's: product, price, place and promotion). Results suggest that a desire complete the vaccine series, vaccine reminders and preventing illnesses and protecting their children against illnesses and HPV all influence vaccination (product). The majority of Completed mothers did not experience barriers that prevented vaccine series completion and Initiated mothers perceived a lack of health insurance and the cost of the vaccine as potential barriers. Informational barriers were prevalent across both market segments (price). Clinics are important locations for deciding to complete the vaccine series (place). They are the preferred sources to obtain information about the HPV vaccine thus making them ideal locations to deliver intervention messages, followed by television, the child's school and brochures (promotion). Increasing HPV vaccine coverage among Hispanic adolescents will reduce the rates of HPV-associated cancers and the cervical cancer health disparity among Hispanic women. This research can inform the development of an intervention to increase HPV vaccine series completion in this population.

Keywords: HPV; Hispanic women; Intervention development; Social marketing theory; Vaccine completion.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Drug Costs
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / economics
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Marketing*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines