Health Literacy Correlates to HPV Vaccination Among US Adults Ages 27–45

Annalynn M. Galvin, Ashvita Garg, Stacey B. Griner, Jonathan D. Moore, Erika L. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is now available for adults aged 27–45 as a shared clinical decision. Health literacy skills (i.e., accessing, understanding, appraising, applying information) may facilitate vaccine decision-making for adults with a provider recommendation. This study assessed associations between health literacy skills and willingness to get a provider-recommended HPV vaccine among newly eligible US adults. In 2020, US participants (51% women), aged 27–45 years, were surveyed online (n = 691). The outcome was willingness (willing/not willing) to get the HPV vaccine with provider recommendation. Measures were adapted from Sørensen’s multidimensional European Health Literacy Scale, which assesses health literacy among four domains (i.e., access, understanding, appraisal, application). Adjusted odds ratios were calculated for the outcome and each health literacy domain, adjusting for personal health determinants (e.g., age, sex). The sample consisted of primarily non-Hispanic (91.2%), White (74.4%), and married (60.7%) adults. Approximately 65% of participants were willing to get a provider-recommended HPV vaccine. Higher willingness to vaccinate with provider recommendation was significantly associated with increased HPV knowledge (understanding; aOR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.04, 1.24), ability to understand HPV information (understanding; aOR = 1.96, 95% CI 1.09, 3.52), increased perceived vulnerability to HPV-related cancer (appraising; aOR = 3.22, 95% CI 1.83, 5.69), and the need for more information on vaccine safety to seek vaccination (applying; aOR = 3.25; 95% CI 2.05, 5.16). Utilizing a multidimensional health literacy framework to evaluate facilitators to HPV vaccination uptake among adults aged 27–45 can help guide future interventions by targeting accurate, easy-to-understand HPV information that connects vaccination efficacy to reduction in HPV cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • HPV vaccination
  • Health literacy
  • Provider recommendation
  • Shared clinical decision


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