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Decision-Making about the HPV Vaccine among Ethnically Diverse Parents: Implications for Health Communications

Journal of Oncology
Publication Date
  • Communication
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Objective: To describe parents' knowledge, attitudes, and decision-making with regard to obtaining the HPV vaccine for their daughters. Methods: White, Black, and Hispanic parents of daughters who were age eligible to receive the HPV vaccine (9–17 years) were recruited from community settings to participate in focus groups. Parents were asked about knowledge and awareness of HPV, decision-making about HPV vaccine, as well as preferred and actual sources of HPV information. Results: Seven focus groups ( 𝑛 = 6 4 participants) were conducted. Groups were segmented by gender ( w o m e n = 7 2 %) and race/ethnicity ( B l a c k = 5 9 %; W h i t e = 2 3 %; H i s p a n i c = 1 9 %). Prevalent themes included: insufficient information to make informed decisions; varied preferences for involvement in decision-making; concerns about vaccine safety; mistrust of medical providers and pharmaceutical companies; and mismatch between actual and preferred sources of information. Discussion: Improving communication between providers and caregivers and helping parents to access information necessary for informed decision-making, while alleviating concerns about vaccine safety, may help to improve vaccine acceptance.

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