Human papillomavirus vaccine: Knowledge and attitudes in two Appalachian Kentucky counties

Claudia Hopenhayn, Amy Christian, W. Jay Christian, Nancy E. Schoenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objective: A vaccine against common high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) associated with cervical cancer risk was recently approved. We assessed women's acceptance of HPV vaccination for themselves and for adolescent girls, in an Appalachian population with cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates among the highest in the United States. Methods: We conducted a population-based, random-digit telephone survey of over 600 adult women residing in two Appalachian Kentucky counties. The analysis focused on questions of HPV vaccine acceptance, and their relationship to several factors. Results: The majority of women indicated an interest in HPV vaccination for themselves (85.2%), but they were less accepting of a vaccine being administrated to girls of ages 10-15 (67.6%). Women who were younger, lower-income and smokers were more likely to support vaccination. Conclusions: Although a relatively high percentage of women found the HPV vaccination acceptable for their own use, there was less enthusiasm for supporting vaccination to girls. This finding is of concern since the vaccine is being recommended for adolescent girls and young women, prior to sexual initiation. Educational campaigns will be needed for a successful vaccine implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-634
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Special thanks to Ron Langley, PhD, Director of the University of Kentucky Survey Research Center. Financial support was provided through the University of Kentucky by a Research Support Grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research, and by the College of Public Health.


  • Appalachia
  • Cervical cancer
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Vaccine
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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