Despite the existence of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines with demonstrated safety and effectiveness and funded HPV vaccination programs, coverage rates are persistently lower and cervical cancer burden higher among Canadian Indigenous peoples. Barriers and supports to HPV vaccination in Indigenous peoples have not been systematically documented, nor have interventions to increase uptake in this population. This protocol aims to appraise the literature in Canadian and global Indigenous peoples, relating to documented barriers and supports to vaccination and interventions to increase acceptability/uptake or reduce hesitancy of vaccination. Although HPV vaccination is the primary focus, we anticipate only a small number of relevant studies to emerge from the search and will, therefore, employ a broad search strategy to capture literature related to both HPV vaccination and vaccination in general in global Indigenous peoples.
Eligible studies will include global Indigenous peoples and discuss barriers or supports and/or interventions to improve uptake or to reduce hesitancy, for the HPV vaccine and/or other vaccines. Primary outcomes are documented barriers or supports or interventions. All study designs meeting inclusion criteria will be considered, without restricting by language, location, or data type. We will use an a priori search strategy, comprised of key words and controlled vocabulary terms, developed in consultation with an academic librarian, and reviewed by a second academic librarian using the PRESS checklist. We will search several electronic databases from date of inception, without restrictions. A pre-defined group of global Indigenous websites will be reviewed for relevant gray literature. Bibliographic searches will be conducted for all included studies to identify relevant reviews. Data analysis will include an inductive, qualitative, thematic synthesis and a quantitative analysis of measured barriers and supports, as well as a descriptive synthesis and quantitative summary of measures for interventions.
To our knowledge, this study will contribute the first systematic review of documented barriers, supports, and interventions for vaccination in general and for HPV vaccination. The results of this study are expected to inform future research, policies, programs, and community-driven initiatives to enhance acceptability and uptake of HPV vaccination among Indigenous peoples.