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HPV vaccine delay and refusal among unvaccinated Mexican American young adult women: a qualitative investigation of Mexican-born and US-born HPV vaccine decision narratives.


Low HPV vaccination rates among Latina young adults perpetuate HPV-associated cancer disparities. Using qualitative methods, this study explored individual, interpersonal, and community factors that influence HPV vaccine delay and refusal among Mexican- and U.S.-born Mexican American young adult women. Participants (N = 30) between 18 and 26 years old were purposively sampled from two federally qualified health centers in Orange County, California. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities research framework and narrative engagement theory guided semi-structured phone interviews coded inductively and deductively. Participants primarily attributed vaccine status to individual and interpersonal reasons. Emerging themes included low HPV vaccine knowledge, insufficient provider communication, negative perceptions about HPV and the vaccine, motherhood responsibilities, mother's communication about HPV, cultural family norms, health care access, and misinformation. Compared to U.S.-born Latinas, Mexican-born participants more frequently expressed avoiding health care discussions with family. HPV vaccine recommendations for young Mexican American women should include socioculturally tailored messages that may improve HPV vaccination acceptance and uptake.

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