Using Concept Mapping to Identify Opportunities for HPV Vaccination Efforts: Perspectives from the Midwest and West Coast
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection significantly contributes to the burden of cancer in the United States, despite the existence of a highly effective vaccine. While numerous interventions to address vaccination uptake exist, vaccination rates remain low. We conducted a concept mapping exercise to solicit perspectives on barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccination from state-level stakeholders in five states in the Midwest and West Coast of the U.S. We identified 10 clusters of barriers and facilitators based on participants’ statements. For rural areas specifically, clusters rated as most important included education and provider influence; those rated as most feasible were education and coordinated/consistent messaging. Our results suggest that a combination of important (but potentially more difficult to implement) strategies, combined with those rated as most feasible (but potentially less impactful) may be beneficial. Our findings highlight similarities across diverse states, suggesting that states can learn from each other and work together to improve HPV vaccination rates. Using concept mapping proved to be an efficient way to collect information from diverse, stakeholders in different locations, and is a methodology that could be used for program planning in areas beyond HPV vaccination.