HPV Literacy and Associated Factors Among Hmong American Immigrants: Implications for Reducing Cervical Cancer Disparity

Raiza Beltran, Tina Simms, Hee Yun Lee, Melissa Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Previous studies show that certain minority and ethnic communities experience low human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates despite a higher cervical cancer burden. HPV is known to be responsible for almost all cervical cancer cases. Hmong Americans, a growing Asian American population, appear to be at increased risk. The cervical cancer incidence rate among Hmong American women is three times higher than other Asian/Pacific Islanders and more than four times higher than Non-Hispanic Whites. Despite such alarming statistics, there is limited research focusing on HPV literacy and its associated factors in the Hmong American community. This study’s objectives are to investigate: (1) the level of HPV knowledge among Hmong Americans; (2) HPV vaccination initiation and completion rates of Hmong Americans; and (3) factors associated with HPV literacy in the Hmong American community. Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Use was used as the study’s theoretical framework. A self-administered paper and online health survey was completed by192 Hmong Americans living in a major metropolitan area in Minnesota. Results revealed a mean score of 4.76 (SD 1.67) for the 7-item questionnaire measuring HPV knowledge. The HPV vaccination initiation rate was 46.3 % (n = 56), with 32.7 % completing the recommended three doses. Multiple regression analysis found that participants’ level of education, number of doctor visits, and cervical cancer screening literacy were significantly associated with HPV knowledge. This study’s results indicate the important role of health providers in educating Hmong Americans patients about HPV and cervical cancer prevention to decrease the cervical cancer burden in this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Asian Americans
  • Cervical cancer prevention
  • HPV literacy
  • Health disparities
  • Hmong Americans

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