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Vaccine. 2012 Apr 19;30(19):3003-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.01.079. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Evaluating associations between sources of information, knowledge of the human papillomavirus, and human papillomavirus vaccine uptake for adult women in California.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States.



Vaccines have the potential to reduce morbidity from HPV infections if age-eligible patients receive and parents know about them. Content analyses have demonstrated significant range in the quality of HPV information obtained from different sources. The purpose of this study was to determine the pattern of associations between information source and level of knowledge about HPV and vaccine receipt/intention.


We analyzed the 2007 California Health Interview Survey, a population-based, statewide random digit dial survey, using data on adult females ages 18-65 who had heard about HPV (n=16,806). One-way ANOVA and multivariate logistic regression assessed the associations between source of information (advertisement only, advertisement plus other sources, and non-advertisement sources) and knowledge of HPV (3 or greater correct on a 4-point scale). Multivariate logistic regressions were conducted on a subsample of vaccine-eligible women and parents to assess vaccine uptake or intention.


Less than half of respondents (43%) correctly answered 3 or more of the HPV knowledge questions. Mean knowledge scores were significantly different when comparing women who reported advertisement only, non-advertisement, and advertisement plus other sources of information (p<0.001). In multivariate analysis, women who reported non-advertisement sources (OR 2.44, 95% CI 2.07-2.87) and advertisements plus other sources (OR 3.03, 95% CI 2.57-3.58) were more likely to have knowledge scores above the 75% level than women who relied on advertisements alone. In the subsample of vaccine-eligible women and parents, those who reported advertisements plus other sources (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.30-2.62) were more likely to have received or intend to receive the vaccine than those who reported advertisements as their sole information source.


Advertisements are the most commonly reported source of information about HPV, and while they inform women of the existence of the vaccine, they do not contribute to accurate knowledge about the virus, nor do they appear to influence vaccine uptake. Other sources may play a larger role in refining knowledge and/or improving uptake.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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