Background: A vaccine against human papillomaviruses (HPV) has recently been licensed for use in males ages 9-26 years. There have been no national studies examining parental attitudes about male HPV vaccination.
Objectives: To examine male HPV vaccination intention and predictors of intention among a national sample of parents of boys.
Methods: A national sample of parents and non-parents were administered a web-based survey. Analyses were restricted to responses from 1664 parents of boys. Vaccination intention was measured using a 4-point scale, which was later dichotomized. Predictor variables included parent/family demographics and five attitudinal scale measures (perceived severity, susceptibility, barriers, benefits, and normative beliefs). Chi-square tests and multivariable logistic regression was used to assess associations. Analyses incorporated survey weights to derive nationally representative estimates and were stratified by parents of adolescents (9-17 years) or younger boys (0-8 years).
Results: The overall response rate was 68%. Most parents (89%) believed male HPV vaccination was important in general, but only half indicated they would have their own son vaccinated either in the near future (parents of adolescents, 52%), or when their son was older (parents of younger boys, 48%, p=0.13). In separate multivariable models for each child age group, perceived benefits to vaccination had the largest impact on parental vaccination intention (OR 7.09 for younger boys, 21.0 for adolescents) and perceived susceptibility, barriers and normative beliefs, but not perceived severity, were also associated with this outcome. Having less than a high school education was associated with decreased vaccination intention for older (OR 0.18), but not younger, boys.
Conclusions: Although the majority of parents in this national sample believe that male HPV vaccination is generally important, only half indicate they would be likely to have their own son vaccinated. Individual beliefs and attitudes were the most consistent predictors of male HPV vaccine intention.