Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Parent Perspectives on HPV Vaccine: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors at Urban Immunization Clinics

Anne Bailowitz, Division of Maternal and Child Health, Baltimore City Health Department, 4 S. Frederick St., 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD, USA and Jessica Ostermann.

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to:
1. Define the features of HPV vaccine
2. Identify parental HPV vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors
3. Apply these findings to planning health education

HPV vaccine is one of the newest vaccines approved for use in adolescents. Few reports are available on parental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding the vaccine. Although manufacturer-supported television advertising is abundant, other education campaigns are embryonic.

1. Describe parent demographics
2. Assess parent knowledge of HPV vaccine and willingness to use it
3. Define information sources and unanswered questions

One hundred parents attending two public immunization clinics in Baltimore, MD were interviewed 8/7-10/24/07. Interviewers were medical professionals trained in survey methods. The questionnaire consisted of two sections: demography and vaccine-related questions.

Respondents were 88% female. Twenty-eight percent were under 27 years; 90% were under 50. Seventy-seven percent were African American. Forty percent completed high school and 11% completed college. Approximately half (51%) were aware of the vaccine; one-third knew HPV vaccine prevented cancer in women but only 4% correctly identified the cancer. Less than 5% were aware the vaccine was useful in men. One-third wanted the vaccine for themselves; 43% wanted it for their daughters. Questions about the vaccine focused on side effects, long-term effects, and efficacy. Major information sources included television (33%), physicians (7%), and school (5%).

Parent knowledge of HPV vaccine is suboptimal. Nevertheless, vaccine acceptance was relatively high. Concerns were similar to those mentioned for other vaccines. The major information source, television, was the preferred manufacturer medium. Expanded education venues should include clinics, physician offices, schools and health fairs.