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Pediatricians in Appalachia less likely to recommend HPV vaccine
Date:9/28/2011

ervical cancer and the HPV vaccine published in Ohio newspapers during 2006. They compared the 42 articles published in Appalachia areas of Ohio with the 79 articles in non-Appalachian regions of the state.

"We found that the articles published in the Appalachia region tended to lack vital information that could help promote use of the HPV vaccine," Krieger said.

For example, 46 percent of the articles in non-Appalachian newspapers mentioned that the HPV vaccine can prevent cervical cancer, compared to only 17 percent of the articles in Appalachian papers.

While the cost of the HPV vaccine is a major concern in poor areas of Appalachia, only 2 percent of the articles in the region mentioned that financial assistance was available to pay for the vaccine, compared to 22 percent of the articles outside the area.

Krieger said the Appalachian newspapers in this study were smaller papers with significantly lower circulation rates than papers in other areas.

"These newspapers may not have the resources of their larger counterparts to conduct in-depth health reporting or purchase wire stories," she said.

But other reasons for the lack of coverage probably centered on local cultural norms. Because of the link between HPV and sexual activity, many newspapers may have been reluctant to bring up the issue.

"We contacted staff from several newspapers in Appalachia and we were told that their readers didn't want this type of information," Krieger said.

Overall, the two studies show that women in Appalachia may be less likely than others to learn about the HPV vaccine and its link to cervical cancer from either the local media or their pediatricians, she said.


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Contact: Janice Kriege
Raup-Krieger.1@osu.edu
614-342-0330
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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