Factors Influencing the Intention of Getting the HPV Vaccine among College Women
An Application of the Reasoned Action Approach
Purpose: Although at high risk for contracting HPV, less than half of college women have been vaccinated. The purpose of the current study was to examine underlying factors influencing college women’s intention to get the HPV vaccine using the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA). Methods: Data were collected from two different samples of college women at a large Mid-west university via two phases. In Phase 1, a salient-belief elicitation survey based on the RAA was utilized to collect quantitative and qualitative data from 43 college women. Phase 1 data were then utilized to create a quantitative closed-ended instrument, which was administered to a large sample (n=279) of female college students in Phase 2. Results: Results indicated that the perceived consequences of getting the vaccine, such as protection against HPV and cervical cancer, were primary determinants influencing intention to get the HPV vaccine. Participants perceived healthcare providers and mothers as salient referents influencing their vaccination decisions. Attitude towards the act and perceived norm were the major predictors of intention to get a vaccine. Conclusions: Results suggest the importance of attitudes and perceived norms (especially mothers and healthcare providers) in predicting intention to get the HPV vaccine. Utilizing theory-based approaches to design interventions may be beneficial to increase vaccination rates among college women. Such interventions could focus on the attitudes and perceived norms of college students’ regarding getting the HPV vaccine.