Determinants of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Among U.S. Navy Personnel

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Abstract

Background

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, with at least half of sexually active people contracting the virus—a leading etiology for genital warts and anal, cervical, laryngeal, penile, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Research suggests HPV is higher among U.S. military personnel than in U.S. civilian populations and can result in significant morbidity or complications and limit U.S. military’s duties or deployable status.

Objectives

The aim of the study was to identify determinants of HPV vaccination among U.S. Navy personnel.

Methods

Participants (N = 233) recruited from both active duty and activated reservists, attached to Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVSURFPAC), located in Japan and the United States, completed an anonymous online survey between June and October 2015. Bivariate analysis was used to examine relationships between sociodemographic, psychological factors, and HPV vaccination. Logistic regression was utilized to identify factors that increase odds for HPV vaccination.

Results

HPV vaccination was associated with gender; having deployed in the past 3 years; having heard of HPV, HPV testing, and HPV vaccine; HPV self-rating knowledge; where one heard about the vaccine; belief the chain of command recommends the vaccine; and HPV general knowledge, testing knowledge, and vaccine knowledge (p < .05). The regression model was statistically significant, χ2(19) = 97.216, p < .001; four variables contributed to the model.

Discussion

Determinants of HPV vaccination were female gender; hearing about HPV vaccine from a healthcare provider, media, or Internet; belief the chain of command recommends the HPV vaccine; and greater HPV vaccine knowledge. Results augment healthcare professionals’ and policy makers’ existing evidence-based knowledge of the determinants of HPV vaccination to help develop effective HPV immunization policies and programs.

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