Relationship status impacts primary reasons for interest in the HPV vaccine among young adult women

Erika L. Thompson, Cheryl A. Vamos, William M. Sappenfield, Diane M. Straub, Ellen M. Daley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Introduction: The HPV vaccine prevents HPV-related cancers and genital warts, which cause significant morbidity and mortality in the US. The vaccine is targeted toward 11-12 year old males and females, but is recommended for "catch-up" vaccination until age 26 for females. Young adult females (18-26 years) represent a unique group that may face distinct barriers to HPV vaccination, one of which is relationship status. The purpose of this study was to assess how relationship status impacts interest in HPV vaccination and primary reasons for non-vaccination among 18-26 year old young adult women. Methods: The National Health Interview Survey 2010 was examined among unvaccinated females, 18-26 years (N = 1457). A survey-weighted logistic regression analysis with conversion to prevalence ratios assessed how interest in the HPV vaccine (yes/no) was influenced by relationship status (married, living with a partner, other, single) among young adult women. A Rao-Scott chi-square test examined differences between primary reasons for non-vaccination and relationship status among HPV vaccine uninterested women. Results: Among unvaccinated women, 31.4% were interested in the HPV vaccine. Women who were living with a partner (PR = 1.45, 95%CI 1.06-1.90) and single (PR = 1.42, 95%CI 1.11-1.76) were significantly more likely than married women to be interested in the HPV vaccine, while controlling for socio-demographic and other known risk factors. Additionally, primary reasons for non-vaccination differed based on relationship status among uninterested women (p < 0.01). Women who were married were more likely to cite not needing the vaccine compared to never married women (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Relationship status in young adulthood impacts HPV vaccine interest and decision-making among a national sample of women. Primary reasons for non-interest in the vaccine may be shaped by attitudes and knowledge about the HPV vaccine that differ by relationship status. Future research is needed to elucidate ways to overcome relationship status as a barrier to HPV vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3119-3124
Number of pages6
Issue number27
StatePublished - 8 Jun 2016


  • HPV vaccination
  • Relationship status
  • Young adult women


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