African-American Parents Residing in Rural Isolated Communities: Perceived Barriers and Correlates of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination for School-Age Children

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tami L. Thomas, PhD, CPNP, RNC
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify three perceived barriers to HPV Vaccination described by parents living in rural isolated communities.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe Correlates of HPV Vaccination including parents Knowledge and Beliefs about the HPV Vaccination regarding their school age children.


The purpose of study was to identify African American  parents’ knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and perceived barriers to vaccinating thier school age children with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.


A 42 item survey with an overall cronbach alpha of 0.96 was used to anonymously survey African American parents living in rural isolated communites. 


The majority of parents were women, protestant, married with a mean age of 38.3 (sd=7.4) and 35% had incomes less than $15,000. Significant associations with race were found for  survey items focuse on knowledge, as an example African Americans disagree that HPV can cause cervical cancer (OR=2.99). Variables correlating with attitudes showed African Americans  were more likely to disagree than whites or Hispanics that they would vaccinate their daughter if the vaccine were free or low cost (OR=2.66), that they would vaccinate their daughter even if the vaccine were expensive (OR=3.69), or that they had confidence of getting the vaccine if they chose to vaccinate their daughter (OR=3.61). For the beliefs variables, African Americans were more likely than whites or Hispanics to disagree that they trust vaccines that have been around longer (OR=2.26) and that vaccines are getting better all the time due to research (OR=3.22).  Results for perceived barriers indicate African Americans didn’t know where to get the HPV vaccine if they chose to vaccinate their daughter (OR=3.71).


These results indicate points of interest to develop culturally specific interventions to increase HPV vaccine uptake and decrease cervical cancer and other HPV related cancers in these rural isolated communities.  In addition the methods and data results can be used to assist researchers in other countries where rural isolated communites exist. These results also indicate that geographic disparities may increase the chasm between African Americans and access to the HPV vaccine.