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Many Moms Unwilling to Have Younger Daughters Get HPV Vaccine
Date:5/4/2008

also the first to measure attitudes towards the vaccine since it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006.

Forty-nine percent of almost 10,000 respondents intended to vaccinate a daughter if she were 9 to 12 years old; 68 percent intended to vaccinate if the daughter was 13 to 15 years old; and 86 percent said they would vaccinate if the daughter was 16 to 18 years of age.

Specific beliefs about HPV vaccine were the most powerful predictor of one's intention to vaccinate one's 9-to-12-year-old daughter.

The belief that really stood out was that the vaccine would protect the daughter against cervical cancer. "That was not at all surprising to me," Kahn said. "[Other] studies have shown that the most powerful factor driving mothers' decisions is the desire to protect a child from harm."

The next most powerful predictor were beliefs that the vaccinations would not cause a child to engage in riskier sexual behaviors.

"That implies we need some studies to prove or disprove this concern," Kahn said. "It also is going to be important for clinicians to address that head on with parents."

If a clinician recommended the vaccine, the mom was more likely to decide to vaccinate her daughter.

Mothers were also more likely to go for the vaccine if they thought their daughter was at risk for HPV.

All of these factors could be incorporated into messages, including those seen in brochures and posters about HPV and the vaccine, Kahn said. She was also lead author of a paper appearing in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology that found that interventions which address personal beliefs about the HPV vaccine as well as system-wide barriers to vaccination could lead to higher vaccination rates.

"This shows that there's a difficulty in having mothers recognize that their children will become sexually active at a relatively young age," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairma
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