, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 1157-1163

Ohio Appalachia Public Health Department Personnel: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Availability, and Acceptance and Concerns Among Parents of Male and Female Adolescents

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Abstract

Public health departments (n = 48) serving the 32 counties of Ohio Appalachia were contacted to determine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine availability and to assess patient and parental attitudes, perceived barriers, and decisional differences about vaccination for male and female adolescents. Nurses or nursing supervisors in 46 of 48 health departments agreed to participate with 45 (97.8 %) reporting that HPV vaccines were available for males and females. HPV vaccination barriers reported most frequently were lack of knowledge about the vaccines, concerns about potential side effects, the newness of the HPV vaccines, and parents believing their children were not sexually active or were too young to receive an HPV vaccine. Provider reports of the primary differences in the acceptability of an HPV vaccine among parents of males compared to the parents of females were lack of awareness that an HPV vaccine was available for males, not understanding why the vaccine should be given to males, and fear of vaccination increasing sexual promiscuity among female adolescents. Half of the health departments (n = 24) reported that parents of females were more receptive toward HPV vaccination, 16 health departments reported no difference in acceptability based on gender of the child, and 5 health departments reported that parents of males were more receptive. This study suggests that there are different informational needs of males and females and parents of male and female children when making an informed decision about HPV vaccination. Findings highlight content to include in strategies to increase HPV vaccination rates among Appalachia Ohio residents.