HPV and cervical cancer testing and prevention: Knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes among hispanic women

Jan Gaylord Vanslyke, Julie Baum, Veronica Plaza, Maria Otero, Cosette Wheeler, Deborah L. Helitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Cervical cancer is a preventable disease resulting from infection with high-risk types of sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HPVs). Public knowledge of HPVs and their link to cervical cancer is limited. Participation in cervical cancer prevention programs, including Pap and HPV screening and HPV vaccine acceptance, is crucial for limiting the incidence of cervical cancer. Hispanic women suffer the highest cervical cancer incidence rates in the United States. In this study, we conducted community-based focus groups with Hispanic women to explore knowledge and attitudes relating to cervical cancer, HPV, HPV testing, and HPV vaccination. Study findings suggest a need to increase public health literacy in relation to HPV, the link between HPV and cervical cancer, and HPV primary and secondary prevention options. Health care providers should be prepared to share information with patients that supports and promotes informed decision making about HPV testing and vaccines and their complementary roles in cervical cancer screening and prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-596
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Community and public health
  • Decision making
  • Focus groups
  • Health behavior
  • Health care
  • Health education
  • Latino/Hispanic people
  • Prevention
  • Psychosocial aspects
  • Screening
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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