Assessment of Health Literacy in College-Age Females to Reduce Barriers to Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination


      • Health disparities and health literacy are important concepts.
      • Racial disparities have been identified in relation to an individual’s knowledge about the HPV vaccine.
      • HPV vaccination with the correct use of condoms and other barrier methods can reduce, but not completely eradicate the prevalence of HPV.


      Assessing an individual’s healthy literacy and cultural background is important when discussing any health issue. This review explores specific concepts on HPV health literacy and how health disparities can influence college-age students’ knowledge about HPV-associated cancer and the importance of obtaining the 3 sequential doses of the Gardasil HPV vaccine. This information is relevant to practicing nurses, nurse practitioners, and midwives who provide direct individual care to adolescent and college-age students. Practical questions are asked to promote health literacy, provide culturally sensitive care, and reinforce health education on HPV, cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccine.


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      Rhonda R.Johnson, DNP, CNM, CNE, FACNM, is an assistant professor, College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, and can be contacted at [email protected]


      De Anna Cox, DNP, FNP-BC, is an associate professor, College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.


      Joy Deupree, PhD, WHNP-BC, FAAN, is Associate Dean for Practice Innovation, Partnerships, and Policy Professor, College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.