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J Immigr Minor Health. 2013 Aug;15(4):732-40. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9736-x.

Exploring the role of neighborhood socio-demographic factors on HPV vaccine initiation among low-income, ethnic minority girls.

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Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168th St., New York, NY 10032, USA.


Little is known about whether neighborhood factors are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake, especially among disadvantaged groups that can benefit most from the vaccine. We used data collected from immigrant, low-income mothers of adolescent girls and data from the 2005-2009 American Community Survey to investigate the relationship between HPV vaccine initiation and neighborhood characteristics. We compared initiation rates across levels of neighborhood disadvantage and employed multilevel logistic regression models to examine contextual effects on uptake. Overall, 27 % of girls (n = 479) initiated the vaccine. Initiation rates were highest among girls from the most disadvantaged neighborhoods (30 %), however, neighborhood factors were not independently associated with vaccine initiation after adjusting for individual factors. Mother's awareness of HPV, age, and insurance status were strong predictors for initiation. Future interventions should focus on improving awareness among low-income mothers as well as targeting vulnerable families outside the catchment area of public programs.

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