Predictors of HPV Knowledge and HPV Vaccine Awareness Among Women in Panama City, Panama

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World Medical & Health Policy

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In 2008, Panama became the first country in Latin America to offer the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine at no cost to 10‐year‐old girls as part of its National Immunization Program. Vaccine completion rates remain suboptimal, and knowledge is limited regarding public perceptions of the HPV vaccine in Panama. A cross‐sectional survey of 333 Panamanian women aged 18–65 was conducted in Panama City, Panama. Although 93 percent of respondents had heard of HPV, only 59.8 percent had heard of the HPV vaccine. Acceptability of HPV vaccination of daughters was high (95 percent). In multivariate analyses, HPV vaccine awareness was associated with age and education, but not with income, Internet use as preferred source of health information, indigenous race, or marital status. Additionally, after controlling for age, education, income, race, and Internet use, women who completed a pap test in the past 36 months were 3.12 times more likely to have heard of the HPV vaccine when compared to those who had not (95%CI 1.04–9.34). Future efforts to educate Panamanian women about the HPV vaccine should include special attention to vulnerable populations, including those of younger age and limited education.


© 2019 Policy Studies Organization

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