Parental attitudes and beliefs regarding the nine-valent human papillomavirus vaccine

Holly B. Fontenot, Vanessa Domush, Gregory D. Zimet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Purpose The purpose of the study was to explore parents' attitudes and beliefs about the nine-valent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV9). Methods Online focus groups were conducted in January, 2015. The U.S. national sample of parents was recruited to four groups: (1) two groups of parents of HPV unvaccinated daughters aged 9-12 years and (2) two groups of parents of vaccinated daughters aged 11-17 years. Results Participants were 43 parents of vaccinated daughters and 38 parents of unvaccinated daughters. Results indicated low and variable levels of knowledge about HPV, related cancers, and vaccination (e.g., parents unaware vaccine is recommended for boys). Parents were encouraged that HPV9 covered more types, and many said they want the "better" vaccine. Parents of unvaccinated girls wondered whether they should delay vaccination until HPV9 was available, whereas parents of vaccinated girls wondered whether their daughters could be revaccinated with HPV9. Concerns were related to adverse reactions and side effects, whether another new vaccine will be released after HPV9, HPV mutation (i.e., will HPV types change over time - thereby necessitating multiple vaccines?), and cost. Physician recommendation was identified as the most important facilitator of vaccination, with participants wanting providers to exhibit high levels of confidence in and knowledge about HPV vaccines. Last, parents also viewed the prospective idea of a 2-dose HPV9 vaccine as positive. Conclusions HPV9 recently became available in the United States and has the potential to offer greater cancer prevention if widespread acceptance and uptake occur. Understanding parental perceptions and questions about HPV9 will be important for clinical messaging about this vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-600
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Attitude to health
  • Focus groups
  • HPV vaccines
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Parents
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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