Young Deaf Adults' Knowledge of Human Papillomavirus and Human Papillomavirus Vaccine's Effectiveness in Preventing Cervical, Anal, Penile, and Oral Cancer

Arielle H. Spellun, Christopher J. Moreland, Poorna Kushalnagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Study Objective: To describe knowledge and risk perception of human papillomavirus (HPV) among deaf adults who use American sign language (ASL) comparison with hearing adults in the United States. Design: Secondary HPV knowledge data for the deaf subset sample were drawn from the Health Information National Trends survey in ASL that was administered between 2015 and 2018. HPV knowledge data for the hearing subset sample were drawn from cycle 5 of the Health Information National Trends survey in English that was administered in 2017. Setting: Surveys are a nationally based survey of deaf ASL users in the United States and a nationally based survey of hearing non-ASL users in the United States. Participants: The age of the deaf and hearing subset samples was determined on the basis of catchup vaccine eligibility criteria as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommends catchup vaccination in women, men who have sex with men, immunocompromised individuals, and those who identify as transgender. Interventions and Main Outcome Measures: We examined HPV, HPV vaccine, and HPV-related cancer knowledge in deaf and hearing subsets. Results: Our sample consisted of 235 deaf and 115 hearing adults aged 18-26 years. Of the deaf participants 58% (136/235) reported knowledge of HPV compared with 84% (97/115) of hearing participants (P < .001). Hearing participants showed higher accuracy in risk perception of HPV relation to cervical cancer compared with deaf participants (P < .001). Hearing participants were more likely to have heard of the HPV vaccine as well as believe it is successful in preventing cervical cancer compared with deaf participants (P < .001). Conclusion: Deaf ASL users are less likely to have knowledge of HPV, virus-related cancer risk, and preventative vaccination compared with hearing peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-299
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019



  • American sign language
  • Cancer
  • Deaf
  • Deafness
  • Hard of hearing
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Vaccine
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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