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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The impact of social communication on perceived HPV vaccine effectiveness in a low-income, minority population

  • Author(s): Casillas, A
  • Singhal, R
  • Tsui, J
  • Glenn, BA
  • Bastani, R
  • Mangione, CM
  • et al.

Objectives: Perceived vaccine effectiveness is linked to vaccine-uptake. This study aims to determine if hearing about the HPV vaccine from family/friends (social source) or discussing the vaccine with family/friends (social discussion) is associated with perceived HPV vaccine effectiveness among female ethnic-minority, medical-decision-makers of vaccine-eligible girls. Methods: Data come from a cross-sectional HPV vaccine telephone-survey administered by the Los Angeles County Office of Women's Health (OWH) hotline operators between January-November 2009. Among survey participants who reported awareness of the HPV vaccine (n=294), two logistic regression models of perceived HPV vaccine effectiveness were conducted; a source of information model with social source as the main predictor, and a discussion model with social discussion as the main predictor. These were adjusted for medical source and medical discussion, and covariates affecting interaction with the health care system. Results: Women who heard about the HPV vaccine from a social source were more likely to perceive the vaccine as effective compared to those who did not report a social source of information (adjusted OR 4.78, 95% CI 1.76-12.98). Medical source of information was also associated with perceived vaccine effectiveness (adjusted OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.06-4.05). Those who reported social discussion, but not those who discussed the vaccine with a medical provider, had increased odds of perceived vaccine effectiveness (adjusted OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.04-3.78). Conclusions: Social source of information and social discussion were associated with perceived HPV vaccine effectiveness; this highlights the value of social communication among low-income minority women, and the need for vaccine-messaging interventions that utilize a social network approach.

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