Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Knowledge and Attitudes, Preventative Health Behaviors, and Medical Mistrust Among a Racially and Ethnically Diverse Sample of College Women.J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2015 Mar; 2(1):77-85.JR
Medical mistrust is associated with disparities in a variety of health outcomes. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has the potential to decrease disparities in cervical cancer by preventing infection with the virus that causes these malignancies. No study has examined associations between medical mistrust and preventative health behaviors including the HPV vaccine among young minority women.
Self-reported racial/ethnic minority students completed a web-based survey in fall of 2011. Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis were used to test differences in medical mistrust scores by demographics and health behaviors.
Medical mistrust varied significantly by race with Black women reporting the highest scores. Women with no regular health-care provider (HCP) or who had difficulty talking to their provider had higher mistrust. Higher medical mistrust was associated with a preference to receive HPV vaccine recommendation from a HCP of the same race or ethnicity among unvaccinated women. Black and Asian women who had not received the HPV vaccine had higher mistrust scores than vaccinated women. Perceived difficulty in talking to a HCP was associated with ever having a Pap smear.
Awareness of medical mistrust and the influence on health behaviors may aid in increasing delivery of quality health services for racial and ethnic minority populations. Further research among different populations is needed to elucidate impacts of medical mistrust and provider communication on preventative health behaviors.