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Factors Affecting Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Use Among White, Black and Latino Parents of Sons

Perkins, Rebecca B. MD, MSc; Apte, Gauri MPH; Marquez, Cecilia MD; Porter, Courtney MPH; Belizaire, Myrdell BA; Clark, Jack A. PhD; Pierre-Joseph, Natalie MD

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: January 2013 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p e38–e44
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e31826f53e3
Vaccine Reports

Background: Although human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been available for males since 2009, its uptake remains low. In light of new recommendations for universal vaccination of males, understanding parental attitudes toward this vaccine is important. This study aimed to describe HPV-related knowledge and intention to accept HPV vaccination among White, Black and Latino parents of sons and to assess vaccination rates among their sons.

Methods: We interviewed parents (68 Black, 28 Latino and 24 White; mean age, 43.5) of sons (mean age, 14) attending an urban academic medical center and a community health center. Eligible parents self-identified as White, Black or Latino and spoke English, Spanish or Haitian-Creole. We collected demographic information, knowledge related to HPV vaccination, parents’ intent to vaccinate sons and HPV vaccination rates. Descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression were used to describe data.

Results: Most parents were mothers, married, expressed a religious affiliation and had completed high school or college. Parents had limited knowledge about HPV; White parents were more knowledgeable than Black parents. Most parents (75%) intended to accept HPV vaccination if recommended by physicians; no racial differences were noted. However, only 30% of sons were vaccinated. Logistic regression indicated that internet use was negatively associated with intention to vaccinate. Intention to vaccinate, clinical site of care and having an older son were associated with vaccine receipt.

Conclusions: Although parents in our study had limited understanding of HPV disease in males, most would vaccinate their sons if recommended by their physicians.

From the *Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine; and †Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital-Bedford, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

This study was supported by the American Cancer Society (CDDA-10-086-01, MRSG-09-151-01); the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists/Merck Adolescent Health Research Award. The authors have no other funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address for correspondence: Rebecca B. Perkins, MD, MSc, Boston University School of Medicine, 85 E. Concord St 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118. E-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.