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Background: Human papillomavirus is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection in the United States and is associated with 70% of cervical cancers as well as over 90% of genital warts. Although the HPV vaccine appears in the US immunization schedule during adolescence, a large percentage of women reach adulthood without being vaccinated. The Transtheoretical Model’s (TTM) Processes of Change (POC) construct provides an assessment of participants’ experiences with HPV vaccination and is a central component of computer-tailored interventions designed to increase compliance with medical recommendations, such as vaccination. This study describes development and validation of a POC measure for increasing HPV vaccination among young adult women. Methods: Cross-sectional measurement development was conducted using an online survey to reach a sample of 340 female college students representing vaccinated and unvaccinated women. Factor analytic structural equation modeling as well as evaluations of the stage by POC were used to evaluate the validity of the POC measure. Results: Confirmatory analyses supported the theoretically expected ten-factor, fully correlated model as the best fit for the data. Expected Stage of Change to POC relationships were also confirmed insofar as each POC was significantly associated with Stage of Change, with the exception of dramatic relief. Follow-up analyses suggested that individuals in the Precontemplation stage used all POC less frequently than individuals in all other stages. Conclusions: The POC measure was found to be internally and externally valid in a sample of college-attending women. The POC measure developed may be used to tailor stage-matched interventions that increase use of experiential and behavioral strategies important for increasing HPV vaccination in this high-risk population.


All authors are professors in the Department of Psychology.

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