Knowledge of HPV and HPV Vaccine among Women Ages 19 to 26

Zoe Unger*, Abby Maitra, Julia Kohn, Sangita Devaskar, Lisa Stern, Ashlesha Patel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe knowledge about human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV vaccination among women ages 19 to 26 seeking a variety of services at reproductive health centers. A secondary objective was to identify common sources of HPV information. Methods: Ten reproductive health centers enrolled 365 women ages 19 to 26 in a randomized, controlled trial to determine the effect of automated reminder messages on HPV vaccine completion. Using responses from a 61-item self-administered baseline questionnaire completed before initiating the HPV vaccine, this subanalysis assessed participants' knowledge regarding HPV and the HPV vaccine. Results: Knowledge of HPV prevention, transmission, and disease outcomes among the study population was highly variable. The mean HPV knowledge score was 11.0 of a possible 19 (SD = 3.8). Most participants (77%) had heard of the HPV vaccine before completing the questionnaire and indicated that their primary sources of information about the vaccine were television ads (61%), health care providers (52%), and friends (45%). Conclusions: Despite a relatively high awareness of the vaccine, specific knowledge regarding HPV and the HPV vaccine varied substantially and participant scores highlighted knowledge gaps among vaccine-eligible young women. Media, health care providers, and friends were identified by participants as sources of information and may influence their knowledge of HPV and the HPV vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-462
Number of pages5
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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