HPV Vaccination Acceptance Low in U.K. Minorities

Cultural barriers especially prevalent in south Asia ethnic groups
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Awareness of human papillomavirus (HPV) is lower and there are more cultural barriers to acceptance of HPV vaccination among U.K. ethnic minorities than Caucasian women, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

L.A.V. Marlow, M.D., of University College London, and colleagues used the market research company Ethnibus to circulate surveys in July and August 2008 to 750 female participants from six ethnic minority groups in the United Kingdom, including Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Caribbean, African, and Chinese women as well as 200 Caucasian British women. The survey data was analyzed to assess awareness of HPV, and the acceptability of HPV vaccination among the several ethnic groups.

The researchers found HPV awareness to range from 6 to 18 percent among ethnic minority women compared to 39 percent among the Caucasian women. Acceptability of HPV vaccination was highest (63 percent) for Caucasian mothers and lowest among Pakistani (11 percent), Bangladeshi (18 percent), and Indian (25 percent) women. The most cited barriers to HPV vaccination acceptance were: a need for more information about vaccination, sex-related concerns, and concerns about side effects. Pakistani and Indian women were more likely to cite sexual concerns for their non-acceptance of the vaccination than the other groups.

"These findings suggest some cultural barriers that could be addressed in tailored information aimed at ethnic minority groups. They also highlight the importance of recording ethnicity as part of HPV vaccine uptake data," the authors write.

Several study authors reported receiving research support, speaking and consulting fees from Sanofi Pasteur MSD and GSK Biologicals.

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