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Prev Med. 2005 Jun;40(6):795-802.

Social-cognitive determinants of vaccination behavior against hepatitis B: an assessment among men who have sex with men.

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Department of Social and Organisational Psychology, Utrecht University, PO Box 80.140, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Many individuals who are at risk for infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), including men who have sex with men (MSM), are not vaccinated. This study assessed social-cognitive determinants of obtaining vaccination against HBV.


A targeted survey was conducted among 432 MSM by means of a written questionnaire that contained assessments of social-cognitive determinants of vaccination behavior derived from the Health Belief Model (HBM) and the Theory of Planned Behavior. Vaccination behavior was anonymously linked to questionnaire data for which informed consent was obtained.


Of the 290 men eligible for vaccination, 248 (86%) had obtained vaccination. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that these men were younger, more often were in a steady relationship, and had fewer sex partners. In addition, significant effects were also found for central factors proposed by the Health Belief Model. Notably, men who obtained vaccination against HBV perceived more personal threat from HBV. None of the Theory of Planned Behavior variables were related to obtaining vaccination.


Findings suggest that health education interventions that address perceived susceptibility and severity are likely to contribute to increased uptake of HBV vaccination among MSM. Influencing perceived susceptibility in particular is important, more so than increasing perceived severity by scare tactics.

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