Students’ HPV vaccination rates are associated with demographics, sexuality, and source of advice but not level of study in medical school


Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo




ABSTRACT This study aimed to explore how medical students differ regarding the HPV vaccination status according to their demographics, sexuality, medical school year and sources of information regarding the vaccine. The cross-sectional survey included 379 participants from medical school year 1 to 6, in a medical school in Brasilia. Statistical analyses of the data obtained from a questionnaire analyzed contingency tables and highlighted odds ratios effect sizes. The results showed that among all the participants, 80 (21.1%) were vaccinated against HPV, 215 (58.7%) were not vaccinated but wanted to be and 84 (22.2%) were neither vaccinated nor wanted to be vaccinated. . Female gender (OR= 5.88, 95% CI 3.36-10.30), parental advice (OR= 6.95, 95% CI= 3.97-12.16), and absence of sexual initiation before 16 years of age (OR= 3.04, 95% CI= 1.05-8.77) were positively associated with HPV-vaccinated students. In parallel, female gender (OR= 4.74, 95% CI= 2.38-9.44), parental advice (OR= 3.50, 95% CI=1.20-10.22), and reporting two or more recent sexual partners (OR= 2.03, 95% CI= 1.06-3.88) were positively associated with the intention to be vaccinated among unvaccinated students. The high cost of the vaccine was perceived as a barrier among those respondents who wished to be vaccinated. Additionally, among the 84 (81.3% male) students who admitted unwillingness to be vaccinated, approximately two-thirds cited the feeling to be safe, lack of counseling, or low efficacy of the vaccine as the reasons for their reluctance. In conclusion, vaccination coverage was low among these medical students. Nevertheless, female gender, personal advice, and safe sex were the main factors associated with higher levels of vaccination and vaccine acceptance.

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