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Few eligible young women choose to take HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, study shows
Date:11/9/2010

mmended dosage. Dr. Tracy's research raises significant public health concerns about whether this at-risk population is being adequately protected." Dr. Reece, a gynecologist, also notes that vaccination against HPV doesn't eliminate the need for annual cervical cancer screening.

The study was based on clinical data from the University of Maryland Medical Center's outpatient gynecology clinics, where 9,658 adolescent and young adult women, ages 9 to 26, who were potentially eligible for the vaccine were seen from August 2006 until August 2010. Of these, 2,641 young women, or 27.3 percent, started the vaccination process 39.1 percent completed one dose, 30.1 percent completed two doses and 30.78 percent completed all three doses. Two-thirds of those who began taking the vaccine were African-American.

Young women, ages 18 to 26, were the least likely to complete more than a single dose of the vaccine. African-American women were less likely than young white women to complete all three doses, according to the research.

"We don't know why the young women in our study opted not to take the vaccine or failed to complete the three-dose regimen," says Dr. Tracy, who is a health psychologist. "But our research very clearly points out the need to develop strategies to encourage eligible women to take the vaccine as directed for maximum protection. Parents may have to take a more active role in making sure their daughters receive all the necessary doses."

Dr. Tracy notes that she and her University of Maryland colleagues are planning to conduct a small clinical trial to determine if sending patients text-message reminders might increase the number of people who complete the vaccination process. "We need to develop evidence-based interventions to foster increased participation in vaccine programs and eliminate barriers for young women, in particular, minority women," Dr. Tracy says.


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Contact: Karen E. Warmkessel
kwarmkessel@umm.edu
410-328-8919
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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