Based on their analysis of a mail-in questionnaire, researchers in Canada found that parents who had their daughters vaccinated differed from those who did not do so in perceived susceptibility to the disease, benefits and barriers of the vaccine, and cues to action.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases, with more than 70% of sexually active people getting the virus at least once in their lifetimes. Persistent infection with some HPV strains can lead to cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women, as well as to head-and-neck and other types of cancer and anogenital warts in both men and women.
Current HPV vaccines have been shown to be safe and virtually 100% efficacious in extensive clinical trials and use in the field, but routine vaccination targeted predominantly at young girls has generated widespread public controversy. Scientists from McGill University, the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, and Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec have identified key determinants in parents' decision-making about HPV vaccination of their daughters. Their results have been published in Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.
774 Quebec parents of 9- to 10-year-old girls eligible to a local free school-based HPV vaccination program responded to a mail-in questionnaire, and their answers were analyzed in the framework of the Health Belief Model, which dissects decision-making into 5 factors: perceived susceptibility to and severity of HPV infection, perceived benefits and barriers of vaccination, and cues to action, ie, external influences promoting vaccination.
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