Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 171–180 | Cite as

Predicting Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Uptake in Young Adult Women: Comparing the Health Belief Model and Theory of Planned Behavior

Original Article



Although theories of health behavior have guided thousands of studies, relatively few studies have compared these theories against one another.


The purpose of the current study was to compare two classic theories of health behavior—the Health Belief Model (HBM) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB)—in their prediction of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.


After watching a gain-framed, loss-framed, or control video, women (N = 739) ages 18–26 completed a survey assessing HBM and TPB constructs. HPV vaccine uptake was assessed 10 months later.


Although the message framing intervention had no effect on vaccine uptake, support was observed for both the TPB and HBM. Nevertheless, the TPB consistently outperformed the HBM. Key predictors of uptake included subjective norms, self-efficacy, and vaccine cost.


Despite the observed advantage of the TPB, findings revealed considerable overlap between the two theories and highlighted the importance of proximal versus distal predictors of health behavior.


Theory testing Health behavior theory Cervical cancer prevention Vaccination 



We thank members of the Women’s Health research team (Khadija Andrews, Kristina Banda, Kathleen Burns, Michelle DiMarco, Sophia Harvey, Elizabeth Howe, Jessica Kraich, Lisa Langenderfer, Meghan McLeod, Mallory McRoberts, Kristina Martinez, Shella Mesa, Samantha O’Hara, Virginia Parker, Victoria Patronis, Michelle Poole, Alana Resmini, and Jennifer Rice, Stephanie Urena, and Becky Wiesenfeld) for their assistance with this project. This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (R03-CA138069).

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Supplementary material

12160_2012_9366_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences, College of MedicineFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Sciences, College of MedicineFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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