Abused Women at Risk for HPV and Cervical Cancer: Decisions to Vaccinate their Children
- Corresponding Author:
- Cesario KS
Department of Nursing
Texas Womens University
6700 Fannin Street, Houston, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: July 22, 2015; Accepted date: October 5, 2015; Published date: October 15, 2015
Citation: Cesario KS, Liu F, Mc Farlane J, Zhou W (2015) Abused Women at Risk for HPV and Cervical Cancer: Decisions to Vaccinate their Children. Clinics Mother Child Health 12:194. doi:10.4172/2090-7214.1000194
Copyright: © 2015 Cesario KS et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) are at high risk for many bio-psycho-social health problems, including Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and subsequent cervical cancer. HPV vaccines are effective in eliminating the majority of cervical cancers when administered to both boys and girls at 11 or 12 years of age before becoming sexually active. The purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge and utilization of the HPV vaccine by a group of abused women and their intent to vaccinate their children. Study participants were 280 English and Spanish-speaking women and one of their children engaged in a larger, overarching, 7-year study to determine long-term health and functioning outcomes of abused women and their children. The descriptive data presented here were collected at the 44-month interview. Eight of the women had a diagnosis of cancer. Most of the women (75%) indicated they had some knowledge of the vaccine. Of the women with children over 11 years of age, 53 (45%) have not had their children vaccinated for HPV. In the group of 147 women with children 11 years old or younger, 47 (32%) do not intend to have their children vaccinated. Decision to not vaccinate was attributed to decreased accessibility, poverty, indecisiveness, fear of complications, moral issues, and lack of provider recommendation. It is important that policy makers, health care providers, and the general public receive accurate, unbiased, and detailed information regarding HPV, its health consequences, and the newest vaccines available to maximize the health of our global society. Universal access to the HPV vaccines for all prepubescent children is less costly than the long-term expense incurred by a rising HPV-related cancer incidence. Women in abusive relationships should be screened regularly for HPV and cervical cancer and provided with information about vaccinating their children.