Investigation of Disparities in Cervical Cancer Prevention in the United States
In 2011, an estimated 12,710 women suffered from cervical cancer and 4,290 died from it in the U.S. HPV vaccination (HPV-V) and PAP screening (PAP-S) could reduce this burden. Using 2010 National Health Interview Survey data, current disparities in the use of PAP-S and HPV-V in U.S. women aged 18-30 years were investigated. An adapted Behavioral Model of Health Care Utilization guided the study. Main outcomes were PAP-S in prior year and ever-HPV-V, both initiation and completion. Adjusted predictor estimates were obtained through multivariate logistic regressions with appropriate statistical procedures and weights for complex survey design. A sub-analysis focused on unvaccinated women. The sample had 3,129 women aged 18-30 years, representing about 27 million women of similar age in the U.S. PAP-S, HPV-V initiation and completion rates were 53.5%, 17.9%, and 10.3%, respectively. Hispanics were 33% less likely than Non-Hispanic-Whites to initiate HPV-V. Non-Hispanic-Blacks were 55% more likely and 57% less likely than Non-Hispanic-Whites to receive PAP-S and complete HPV-V, respectively. Non-Hispanic Asians were 36% less likely than Non-Hispanic-Whites to receive PAP-S, but this result was borderline significant. Younger age and being unmarried were predictors of lower PAP-S but higher HPV-V. Ever gave birth was a predictor of higher PAP-S but lower HPV-V. Preventative behaviors (PAP-S and flu vaccination) were predictors of higher HPV-V. STI-history was a predictor of higher HPV-V and PAP-S. Not having health insurance for over one year or recent health provider visit were predictors of lower PAP-S and HPV-V. Living in the South was a predictor of lower HPV-V. Household income was not a predictor of any outcomes. Most common reported reason for no HPV-V was "no need." Study findings indicate interventions to mitigate disparities in cervical cancer prevention are needed. Tailored education interventions for both women and health care providers along with opportunities associated with the 2010 Affordable Care Act, such as broader access to health care, emphasis on health information technology, and initiatives with PAP screening and adult vaccination as potential quality indicators for performance/payment, can reduce these disparities. Future research should focus on the feasibility of alternative venues for receiving HPV-V and PAP-S.