Objectives This study is among the first to examine metropolitan status differences in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine initiation and completion among United States adolescent girls and is unique in its focus on how maternal socioeconomic status and health care access moderate metropolitan status differences in HPV vaccination. Methods Using cross-sectional data from 3573 girls aged 12–17 in the U.S. from the 2008–2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we estimate main and interaction effects from binary logistic regression models to identify subgroups of girls for which there are metropolitan versus non-metropolitan differences in HPV vaccination. Results Overall 34 % of girls initiated vaccination, and 19 % completed all three shots. On average, there were no metropolitan status differences in vaccination odds. However, there were important subgroup differences. Among low-income girls and girls whose mothers did not complete high school, those in non-metropolitan areas had significantly higher probability of vaccine initiation than those in metropolitan areas. Among high-income girls and girls whose mothers completed college, those in metropolitan areas had significantly higher odds of vaccine initiation than those in non-metropolitan areas. Moreover, among girls whose mothers experienced a medical cost barrier, non-metropolitan girls were less likely to initiate vaccination compared to metropolitan girls. Conclusions Mothers remain essential targets for public health efforts to increase HPV vaccination and combat cervical cancer. Public health experts who study barriers to HPV vaccination and physicians who come into contact with mothers should be aware of group-specific barriers to vaccination and employ more tailored efforts to increase vaccination.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health