Category: Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine - Adult
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, with an estimated 79 million people currently infected and 14 million new cases per year (Satterwhite et al., 2008). Screening positive for HPV can increase anxiety and depression (Drolet et al., 2012), and high-risk types cause cancer of the cervix, anus, penis, vagina, vulva, and oropharynx (Dunne et al., 2014). The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends adolescents be routinely vaccinated for HPV at 11-12 years of age, with a ‘catch-up' vaccination recommended for 18–26 years olds (Petrosky et al., 2015). Most efforts to increase vaccination uptake have been targeted at adolescent-parent dyads; yet, vaccination rates remain low (Schmidt & Parsons, 2014). Thus, disseminating effective interventions aimed at the ‘catch-up’ group is important as young adults obtain the right to healthcare choices. Health behavior models, such as the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), can contribute to the formulation of such interventions. The TPB suggests that education, attitudes, social norms, self-efficacy, and anticipatory regret should predict vaccination intent and uptake. The purpose of the current study was to assess feasibility and efficacy of a college-based intervention to increase HPV vaccination uptake. College students (N = 86) were randomly assigned to three groups: psychosocial intervention (PG; n = 30); informational intervention (IG; n = 27); no intervention (NG; n = 29). The PG session included HPV/HPV vaccination education, testimonial videos, advice for discussing vaccination, a plan to vaccinate, and reminder messages at 1, 3, and 6 months consistent with the vaccination schedule. The IG was given on-line HPV/HPV vaccination educational materials to read. At 1-week posttest, there were significant within-group differences, such that PG had a significant increase in HPV knowledge, t(29) = -8.61, p < .001; HPV vaccine knowledge, t(29) = -8.15, p < .001; positive attitudes toward the vaccine, t(29) = -3.66, p = .001; social norms t(29) = -2.26, p = .03; and intent to vaccinate t(29) = -3.54, p < .001. A MANOVA indicated between-group differences at 1-week posttest on HPV education, F(2, 83) = 17.16, p < .001 and HPV vaccination education, F(2, 83) = 10.33, p < .001. Post hoc tests indicated that scores for HPV education were significantly higher for PG compared to NG (p < .001), and HPV vaccination education was significantly higher for PG compared to IG (p < .05) and NG (p < .001). Further, participants in PG reported that they enjoyed the session (M = 6.5, range 1 – 7) and would highly recommend the session to peers (M = 6.2). Currently, 11 of the 20 PG participants who reached the 6-month follow-up have completed the survey; of those, 5 (45%) endorsed HPV vaccination uptake. No participants in the IG or NG endorsed uptake. Initial results indicate that a brief psychosocial intervention targeting TPB variables with reminder messages may facilitate HPV vaccination uptake among 18-26 year olds above and beyond an informational intervention. This could have significant implications for reducing the spread of HPV and related health sequelae, which can have severe mental health consequences.
Kristina Harper– Student, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Pearland, Texas
Whitney Urane– University of Houston-Clear Lake
Jessica Balderas– Graduate Student, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
Steven Bistricky– University of Houston-Clear Lake
Mary Short– University of Houston-Clear Lake