HPV Vaccine Knowledge and Beliefs Among Cambodian American Parents and Community Leaders


Background: The cervical cancer incidence rate among Cambodian American women is 15.0 per 100,000,compared to 7.7 per 100,000 among non-Latina white women. HPV infection has been identified as a universalrisk factor for cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine was recently approved in the United States for females aged 9-26 years. There is little information about HPV vaccination knowledge and beliefs in Southeast Asian communities.
Methods: We conducted 13 key informant interviews with Cambodian community leaders, as well as four focusgroups with Cambodian parents (37 participants). Two of the focus groups included fathers and two of the focusgroups included mothers. Interview and focus group questions addressed HPV vaccine barriers and facilitators.
Results: Participants had limited knowledge about HPV infection and the HPV vaccine. Barriers to HPVvaccination included a lack of information about the vaccine, as well as concerns about vaccine safety, effectiveness,and financial costs. The most important facilitators were a health care provider recommendation for vaccinationand believing in the importance of disease prevention. Discussion: Future cervical cancer control educationalprograms for Cambodians should promote use of the HPV vaccine for age-eligible individuals. Health careproviders who serve Cambodian communities should be encouraged to recommend HPV vaccination.