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Knowledge of a valid, well-designed, and targeted theory-based framework helps better characterize reasons for HPV vaccine hesitancy and identify promising approaches to increase vaccination rates for eligible individuals. This study evaluated health theories in explaining factors affecting HPV vaccination and used a theoretical framework to identify direct and indirect predictors and mediators of HPV vaccination. A cross-sectional survey regarding HPV vaccine uptake and related factors was conducted among 1306 teenagers and young adults in the Midwest, US, in March and April 2023. Structural equation modeling confirmed fit of the framework based on the Integrated Health Theory (IHT) to the HPV vaccine data (Comparative Fit Index = 0.93; Tucker-Lewis Index = 0.92; Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = 0.053). While willingness to uptake the HPV vaccine directly predicted increased uptake (p < 0.001), perceived benefits (p < 0.001) and barriers (p < 0.023) about the vaccine indirectly predicted increased and decreased uptake, respectively. In turn, beliefs about susceptibility (p = 0.005) and severity (p < 0.001) of HPV infection and associated cancers and barriers to vaccination in general (p < 0.001) indirectly predicted willingness to uptake the vaccine. In conclusion, IHT can be appropriate in examining predictors of HPV vaccine uptake in teenagers and young adults in the US, particularly in the Midwest.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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