Vaccinating sons against HPV: Results from a U.S. national survey of parents

Jaime L. Taylor, Greg D. Zimet, Kelly L. Donahue, Andreia B. Alexander, Marcia L. Shew, Nathan W. Stupiansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: The quadrivalent HPV vaccination was approved for use in males ages 9 to 26 in 2009 and recommended for routine administration in 2011. The purpose of this study was to uncover predictable commonalities amongst parents who chose to vaccinate their 11-17 year old sons against HPV. Methods: We compiled data from a U.S. national sample of 779 parents with sons 11-17 years old using a web-based survey to gather information about behavioral and sociodemographic factors which predicted receipt of 1 or more HPV vaccine doses based on parental report. Predictors were first modeled individually for univariable associations. Significant predictors (p<0.10) were combined in a multivariable model. Results: In the adjusted model, independent predictors included receipt of flu vaccination, health insurance coverage and sexual health topic discussions with sons. Sons who had received a flu shot in the last two years more frequently received at least one dose of the vaccine (OR 1.82; 95% CI 1.45-2.26). Sons covered by private health insurance had decreased odds of HPV vaccination (OR 0.56 95% CI 0.37-0.83). Lastly, parents who had discussed sexual health topics with their sons were more likely to vaccinate (OR 1.61; 95% CI 1.37-1.89). Conclusions: Male vaccination rates in the U.S. have increased, but males continue to be under-immunized. Utilization of health care is an important factor in HPV vaccine uptake; therefore, health care providers should use every contact as an opportunity to vaccinate. Communication about sexual health topics may provide a forum for parents and health care providers to have conversations about HPV vaccination as those more comfortable discussing these topics may also be more comfortable discussing HPV vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere115154
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 26 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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