Methods: A convenient sample of 327 college students were recruited from a university in the Deep South. Data were collected from an online self-administered questionnaire. Survey links were sent to undergraduate students by departments’ undergraduate program directors in the author’s university. Research recruitment flyers were also posted in common areas, including the student center, coffee shops, library, and restaurants on campus. Students who were interested in this study would contact research staff and finish the questionnaire online. Data measuring sociodemographic, health service access, health status, HPV knowledge, and HPV vaccination initiation and completion was collected. Logistic regressions were conducted to examine factors associated with HPV vaccine initiation and completion.
Results: About 54% of participants in the current study initiated HPV vaccination, and most of the participants who initiated the vaccination completed the series (52%). Participants who were female (OR=3.01, CI [1.38, 6.58]; OR=2.28, CI [1.07, 4.85]), aware of the HPV (OR=16.53, CI [5.60, 48.83]; OR=7.36, CI [2.99, 18.13]), and aware that “men should have HPV vaccination” (OR=2.33, CI [1.07, 5.09]; OR=3.27, CI [1.50, 7.12]) were more likely to initiate the HPV vaccine and complete the vaccine series.
Conclusions: The findings that only half students initiated and completed HPV vaccine series indicate that further studies and intervention strategies are needed. Factors that should be considered in the planning and designing strategies to improve HPV vaccination rates among college students are gender, HPV awareness, and HPV knowledge. The relatively low vaccination rate among college students also has implications for health practice and policy. Further studies and intervention strategies should target college student populations who are male and with little HPV health knowledge.