Date of Award


Degree Name



Public Health


Maria Duarte-Gardea


Background & Significance: The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a risk factor for both genital warts and cervical cancer. HPV strains 16 and 18 are recognized as precursors of cervical cancer. While strains 6 and 11 are estimated to cause 90% of genital warts. Latinas have the highest rate of cervical cancer in the U.S, approximately 66 % higher than non-Latino whites. These cancers are preventable in many cases through the administration of the HPV vaccine. The advisory committee on immunization practices recommends that children as young as 9 receive at least two doses of the three-dose HPV vaccine series. Consequently, parents are the primary vaccination decision-makers. Unfortunately, HPV vaccination rates among Latinos remain low. Past research on HPV vaccination uptake has been informed by prominent health behavior theories such as the health belief model and indicates that perceived severity and susceptibility of contracting HPV, perceived benefits and barriers to vaccination, and cues to action such as a health providerâ??s recommendation to vaccinate are factors that influence vaccination uptake among parents. Although the influence of a providerâ??s recommendation has been extensively documented, little research has been conducted to understand the manner in which health literacy and numeracy influence parentsâ?? understanding of information provided by healthcare providers about vaccination and its perceived utility and its link to perceived risks and benefits of vaccination.Methods: The proposed study will consist of a secondary data analysis of a cross-sectional survey study conducted to understand the factors associated with uptake of the HPV vaccine among a sample of Latina mothers of vaccine eligible children. The study will analyze the influence of health literacy and numeracy on perceived utility of vaccine information provided by health care providers about the HPV vaccine and perceived risks and benefits of vaccination. The sample will be 88 mothers of pre-teen children. Contribution to Public Health: This thesis aims to expand the scant literature on the role of health literacy and numeracy on perceptions of the information provided by health care providers and the ensuing perceptions about risks and benefits of vaccination. Findings will have implications for the development of interventions and strategies to encourage Latino families to vaccinate their children against HPV. Key words: Human Papillomavirus, Cervical Cancer, HPV Vaccine, Cues to Action, Health Numeracy, Health Literacy

Word Count: 375




Recieved from ProQuest

File Size

74 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Sierra Rae Galvan