Parent's Perception of Recommendation of HPV Vaccination for Adolescent Children

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Maria Jefferson-Walker, MSN, APN
School of Nursing, Resurrection University, Chicago, IL

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 40 types of genital HPV. Some types are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer in woman and other forms of cancer in men and women.  Other types of HPV are responsible for genital warts in both men and women (“HPV Vaccinations,” 2011).  In a CDC report (2011), in the United States, 11,000 new cases of cervical cancer occur each year and about 1 in 100 sexually active individuals contract genital warts at some time.  

The purpose of this study is to examine parents’ knowledge regarding HPV, vaccinations against HPV, genital warts and related cancers. The researcher also explored whether parents that chose to vaccinate their adolescent children gave informed consent or agreed to vaccination because their perception is “Doctor knows best.” In this quantitative study, the researcher chose to utilize a descriptive correlational design to describe the relationship between populations with health disparities and low HPV vaccination rates.

A survey was administered in the form of a questionnaire from August 2012 to December 2012.  The Cronbach’s Alpha for this tool was .80. The data was analyzed with the SPSS program (SPSS Inc, Oak Park, IL). The chosen populations for this study were parents of girls and boys, between the ages of 9-16, attending a low income pediatric clinic on the south side of Chicago.  A convenience sample of 25 parents was selected from the physicians’ patient appointment schedule between August 2012 and December 2012.  

            The findings were as follows, people that heard of HPV tended to believe that vaccinations protect people from disease.  The one person that heard about HPV from their child’s school got their child immunized.   Four people mentioned that a barrier to receiving the   vaccinations was that vaccinations make their child sick but their children have received other vaccinations.  People that answered yes to wanting to get their child vaccinated also believed that the child is at increased risk for precarious sexual behaviors.  People that believed the child was at risk did get the child vaccinated.  The response to the intent to complete the vaccination series within 6 months of receiving the first dose was promising, 48% answered yes and another 20% answered maybe.

  In conclusion, I administered the survey prior to the participants entering the exam room.  This method provided education to parents about HPV vaccines and helped them come up with questions to ask the physician during their visit. Had it not been for the education provided in the waiting room the topic may not have been discussed during the visit or the physician might have recommended the vaccine and the parent agreed because of their perception, “Doctor knows best.”