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Understanding Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Intentions: Comparative Utility of the Theory of Reasoned Action and the Theory of Planned Behavior in Vaccine Target Age Women and Men

Authors


Corresponding Author: William A. Fisher, PhD, Department of Psychology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Western Ontario, Social Science Center, 7428, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5C2. Tel: (519) 661-2111 Ext. 84665; Fax: (519) 661-4139; E-mail: fisher@uwo.ca

Abstract

Introduction

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an exceedingly prevalent sexually transmitted infection with serious medical, sexual, and relationship consequences. HPV vaccine protection is available but vaccine uptake is very inconsistent.

Aims

This research applies two major theories of health behavior uptake, the Theory of Reasoned Action and the Theory of Planned Behavior, in an effort to understand intentions to receive HPV vaccine among vaccine target age women and men. The Theory of Reasoned Action asserts that attitudes toward HPV vaccination and perceptions of social support for HPV vaccination are the determinants of intentions to be vaccinated, whereas the Theory of Planned Behavior holds that attitudes toward vaccination, perceptions of social support for vaccination, and perceived ability to get vaccinated are the determinants of intentions to be vaccinated.

Methods

Canadian university men (N = 118) and women (N = 146) in the HPV vaccine target age range took part in this correlational study online.

Main Outcome Measures

Participants completed standard measures of attitudes toward HPV vaccination, perceptions of social support for vaccination, perceived ability to get vaccinated, beliefs about vaccination, and intentions to be vaccinated in the coming semester.

Results

Findings confirmed the propositions of the Theory of Reasoned Action and indicated that attitudes toward undergoing HPV vaccination and perceptions of social support for undergoing HPV vaccination contributed uniquely to the prediction of women's (R2 = 0.53) and men's (R2 = 0.44) intentions to be vaccinated in the coming semester.

Conclusion

Clinical and public health education should focus on strengthening attitudes and perceptions of social support for HPV vaccination, and on the basic beliefs that appear to underlie attitudes and perceptions of social support for HPV vaccination, in efforts to promote HPV vaccine uptake. Fisher WA, Kohut T, Salisbury CMA, and Salvadori MI. Understanding human papillomavirus vaccination intentions: Comparative utility of the Theory of Reasoned Action and the Theory of Planned Behavior in vaccine target age women and men. J Sex Med 2013;10:2455–2464.

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