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HPV vaccine uptake could be boosted by educating parents

Educating parents about HPV can increase the likelihood of gaining consent for immunisation

Picture: SPL

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most prevalent of all sexually transmitted infections; globally, four out of five of the world's population will be infected with some form of the virus once in their life. There is a well-established relationship between the virus and the development of many forms of cancer, including cervical and oropharyngeal.

In the UK, vaccine completion rates are about 80%; however in the USA, concordance with vaccination programmes is much lower, with rates of completion less than half that of the UK. The uptake of the vaccine is similarly lower when compared with other regularly endorsed immunisations, such as tetanus.

Using a non-probability convenience sample of 75 parents or legal guardians of children attending a paediatric health clinic in New Jersey, this study examined parental attitudes to general inoculation programmes and their knowledge of the HPV vaccine.

An ethnically diverse but predominantly female population participated in the study; the majority were employed and almost half were educated to at least college level. Participants watched a programme about the virus and vaccination.

The completion of pre- and post-intervention questionnaires suggested a significant increase in parental knowledge and a greater likelihood of them giving consent for their child to receive the immunisation.

Cipriano J, Scoloveno R, Kelly A (2016) Increasing parental knowledge related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Journal of Paediatric Health Care. 32, 1, 29-35 doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2017.06.006

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