Attitudes and perceptions of the HPV vaccine in Caribbean and African-American adolescent girls and their parents

Dalan S. Read*, Michael A. Joseph, Veronika Polishchuk, Amy L. Suss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe attitudes and perceptions toward acceptability of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination among inner city Caribbean (CA) and African American (AA) adolescents and their parents, and discuss correlates that may be associated with these factors. Design: Questionnaire survey. Setting: An adolescent medicine clinic. Participants: A convenience sample was recruited of 175 adolescent girls aged 13 to 19 years and 74 parents attending adolescent clinic. Intervention: Participants completed an anonymous confidential 10-minute questionnaire. Main outcome Measures: Data on knowledge about HPV, cervical cancer (CC), attitudes and acceptance of the HPV vaccine. Results: Responses of 175 adolescent girls and 74 parents were analyzed. Overall, 48.9% of the teens were sexually active (SA) and had a 2.2-fold greater odds (OR = 2.21; 95% CI = 1.13-4.36) of being interested in HPV vaccination versus girls who were not SA. While only 55.8% of girls knew what HPV is, this knowledge was significantly associated with knowing that most CC is caused by HPV (P < 0.001) and with interest in receiving HPV vaccination (P < 0.001). Less than half (44.5%) of adolescent girls were interested in receiving the HPV vaccine and only 37.5% of parents.There were no significant influences in parental acceptance of the vaccine with regard to age, ethnicity and educational level, insurance, and living situation.The majority of parents wanted the vaccine for its role in preventing CC. Conclusions: Although controversy surrounds HPV vaccine in regard to its supposed role in promoting SA, only a minority of our parents showed concern for that association. The level of acceptance of the HPV vaccine was overall lower than what has been reported among other racial/ethnic populations. Knowledge about HPV and its association with CC were significantly associated with interest in getting the HPV vaccine and both parents and teens seem to accept the HPV vaccine more for its role in CC prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-245
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Adolescent
  • African American
  • Attitudes
  • Caribbean
  • HPV
  • Parent
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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