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Cultural reflections on the Scottish HPV vaccination programme

Carnegie, E; Whittaker, A; Gray Brunton, C; Hanif, N; Harding, S; Hilton, S; Hogg, R; Kennedy, C; Pollock, K; Pow, J


A Whittaker

S Harding

S Hilton

R Hogg

C Kennedy

K Pollock


The Scottish HPV vaccination programme serves young
women aged 11 to 18 years and reports consistently high
uptake rates, yet these figures may conceal levels of understanding
and antecedents to decision-making. Evidence from
other European countries indicates that ethnicity may
influence decision-making regarding vaccination. The aim of
the study was to identify understandings and explanations for
HPV-related health behaviours within differing cultural
contexts by examining accounts of young people from Black,
Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
A critical qualitative exploratory study utilising Foucauldian
discursive analysis was conducted. Seven focus groups and four
paired interviews were conducted with 40 young people aged
16-26, from BAME communities: South Asian/Black African/
Arab, Muslim/Sikh/Christian. Stimulus material was utilised to
explore understandings of HPV, experiences of vaccine
programme, views on universal vaccination.
Contrasting attitudes and perceptions across ethnicity and
gender were observed: openness of Black African participants
to information and partnership working; barriers to intergenerational
dialogue expressed by Asian men; intracultural
and intercultural opportunities for information-sharing proposed
by Asian women. Participants identified solutions for
sensitising formative public health interventions - how they are
to be delivered and in which contexts including a flexible
approach to offering information and the vaccine.
Public health strategies should consider including: a staged and
tailored approach to information-giving throughout school
and beyond; extending the age of vaccination and including
boys being offered the vaccine at a culturally acceptable stage
and age; developing neutral and destigmatised messages in
partnership with communities/elders; employing multi-media
information campaigns for young men and women.


Carnegie, E., Whittaker, A., Gray Brunton, C., Hanif, N., Harding, S., Hilton, S., …Pow, J. (2016). Cultural reflections on the Scottish HPV vaccination programme. European Journal of Public Health, 26(1 supp 1),

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Online Publication Date Nov 2, 2016
Publication Date Nov 18, 2016
Deposit Date Nov 21, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 21, 2016
Journal European Journal of Public Health
Print ISSN 1101-1262
Electronic ISSN 1464-360X
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1 supp 1
Keywords HPV vaccinne, teenage health behaviours,
Public URL


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