Results Summary

What was the research about?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cancer or other health problems. The HPV vaccine protects against this virus. The HPV vaccine requires two or three doses over several months.

HPV vaccination rates in the United States are low. Latinos get HPV infections as often as other racial or ethnic groups. But Latinos are at higher risk for getting cancer and other health problems from HPV.

The research team worked with Latino community members to design a customized website for Latinos about the HPV vaccine. The team wanted to learn if more Latino young adults, ages 18 to 26, and youths, ages 11 to 17, would get the HPV vaccine after they—or in the case of the youths, their parents—viewed this website. The team compared these youths’ and young adults’ vaccination rates with those of young adults and youths who only had a usual doctor visit or looked at a vaccine website that was not created for Latinos.

What were the results?

Compared with a usual doctor visit, neither viewing the customized website nor viewing general websites led to more youths completing the HPV vaccine series. Very few young adults in any group got any doses of the HPV vaccine.

Compared with a usual doctor visit, both websites helped young adults and parents of youths learn more about the risks and benefits of the HPV vaccine.

Who was in the study?

The study included 498 Latino parents of youths and 308 Latino young adults from central Colorado. All young adults were female, and 49 percent of youths were female.

What did the research team do?

The research team asked a group of Latino young adults and parents of Latino youths for feedback on a website that gave information on the HPV vaccine. The group helped customize the content and look of the website for Latino users.

Next, the team assigned young adults and parents of youths to one of three groups by chance. One group of Latino young adults and parents of youths saw the customized website. Another group saw a general website about the HPV vaccine. The third group only had their usual doctor visit.

Using a survey, the team asked the young adults and parents how viewing the website affected their decision about getting the HPV vaccine. The young adults and parents of youths who didn’t see either website answered questions about HPV decision making after their doctor visits.

At the end of the study, 15 months after participants looked at the websites or got usual care, the research team looked at the young adults’ and youths’ vaccination records. The young adults and parents also completed a follow-up survey on HPV vaccine decision making.

What were the limits of the study?

The research team was unable to find vaccination records for many patients in the study. Without those records, the team did not know whether those patients got the vaccine. Young adults and parents reviewed the websites in front of people from the research team. They may have rated the websites higher than if they had reviewed the sites on their own. No males enrolled in the study’s young adult group.

The websites didn’t increase how many youths and young adults got the HPV vaccine. Future studies could find ways to increase the use of HPV vaccination.

How can people use the results?

Although the websites didn’t increase vaccination rates, young adults and parents of youths who reviewed the websites learned about the risks and benefits of the HPV vaccine. Healthcare providers may consider using these websites to help Latino patients learn about the HPV vaccine.

Final Research Report

View this project's final research report.

Peer-Review Summary

Peer review of PCORI-funded research helps make sure the report presents complete, balanced, and useful information about the research. It also confirms that the research has followed PCORI’s Methodology Standards. During peer review, experts who were not members of the research team read a draft report of the research. These experts may include a scientist focused on the research topic, a specialist in research methods, a patient or caregiver, and a healthcare professional. Reviewers do not have conflicts of interest with the study.

The peer reviewers point out where the draft report may need revision. For example, they may suggest ways to improve how the research team analyzed its results or reported its conclusions. Learn more about PCORI’s peer-review process here.

In response to peer review, Dempsey made changes including

  • Conducting an intent-to-treat analysis with imputed missing data so that the results included data for all randomized participants
  • Including a participant flow diagram per CONSORT guidelines
  • Expanding the description of engagement with patients and stakeholders throughout this study
  • Revising the report conclusions to de-emphasize the significant changes within treatment groups, and acknowledge the lack of significant difference between the two treatment groups, which was the primary aim 
  • Clarifying that the age stratification presented in the report was prespecified, and also correcting information in to reflect the changes made to the report after peer review

Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Project Information

Amanda Frisch Dempsey, MD, PhD, MPH
University of Colorado - Denver
$1,575,062 *
Cultural Tailoring of Educational Materials to Minimize Disparities in HPV Vaccination

Key Dates

December 2012
November 2017

Study Registration Information

Final Research Report

View this project's final research report.


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Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
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Last updated: October 18, 2023