Predictors of HPV-associated knowledge: findings from the 2017 HINTS survey

Alexander J. Mann


Background: Over a decade since the introduction of high-efficacy HPV vaccines, a large proportion of the public lack adequate knowledge of HPV and the HPV vaccine. Continued analysis of newly available data is required to identify disparities in knowledge and target groups with low awareness.

Methods: The Health Information Trends Survey 5 cycle 1 (2017) data was analyzed. Descriptive statistics were generated, and weighted data was used to identify and quantify predictors of HPV and HPV-associated knowledge. The study population included 3,209 respondents and were mostly Caucasian (71%), female (60%), 50-59 years of age, married or previously married (81%), with some education past high school (72%).

Results: Of the 3,209 respondents, 63% had heard of HPV, 62% had heard of the vaccine, and 53% had heard of both. Women were more likely than men to have heard of HPV and the HPV vaccine. Education and income were the greatest predictors of HPV-associated knowledge. College graduates were almost five times more likely to have heard of HPV than those without high school education, whereas respondents with a household income over $100,000 were three times more likely to have HPV-associated knowledge than those under $35,000.

Conclusions: Evidence of knowledge disparities is greatest between genders, income brackets and education. These disparities highlight challenges in vaccine accessibility due to cost, and a lack of awareness in men and minority groups stemming from outdated awareness campaigns. Improvements in vaccine uptake may be achieved by targeting minority groups to increase HPV and HPV vaccine awareness, and through vaccine subsidization to maximize accessibility to those in the lowest income bracket.


Disparities, Human papillomavirus, Vaccine, Awareness

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