Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Amr Soliman

Second Committee Member

Armando De Alba

Third Committee Member

Luis Vasquez


Background. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a causative agent for the development of cancer which is a public health concern worldwide. In the United States (US), the highest incidence of cervical cancer is among Hispanics/Latinos. Although Hispanics/Latinos show the highest utilization rate of HPV vaccine, in general, the vaccination rates are still behind the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80%. The knowledge about this virus has been found low or nonexistent among most populations in the US, especially among minorities and populations with lower education and socioeconomic status. The knowledge and beliefs of Hispanic/Latin mothers about HPV and HPV vaccination are important for preventing the virus among adolescents. However, studies have shown a low knowledge of HPV and HPV vaccination among mothers of Hispanic/Latin origin.

Aims. This research project aimed to assess the HPV vaccination knowledge, awareness and beliefs of mothers of Mexican origin living in the Midwest of the US who have adolescent children in the 9-18 years age range regardless of gender.

Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 100 mothers of Mexican origin living in Nebraska and neighboring states. Based on questionnaires used in previous studies, using structured questions a bilingual 76-item survey was developed for this study. Prospective participants were identified, and verbal consent was obtained before administering the survey. For the statistical analysis, the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0 was used. General descriptive statistics, contingency tables using Pearson Chi-squared test and a logistic regression model (LRM) were utilized.

Results. A total of 100 adult mothers of Mexican origin that were present in the Mexican Consulate between May and July of 2017 were recruited for the study. This was made possible by the partnership of the University of Nebraska Medical Center with OneWorld Community Health Centers and the Mexican Consulate in Omaha. From total mothers interviewed, only 36% of them indicated that their oldest adolescent in the desired age range had at least one dose of the HPV vaccine series. The knowledge about HPV and HPV vaccination was found mostly poor among participants. This result agrees with previous studies developed among Hispanic/Latin women in other regions. A regression model indicated that the HPV and HPV vaccination level of knowledge among the participants is a strong predictor of mothers giving the HPV vaccine to their adolescents.

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