The aim of this study was to compare the parental attitudes and beliefs about human papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer, and HPV vaccine between urban and rural areas, India.
Parents of school-going adolescent girls.
Parents completed a self-administered questionnaire.
Main Outcome Measures
Attitudes and beliefs about HPV, cervical cancer, and HPV vaccine.
A total of 1609 parents from urban (n = 778) and rural (n = 831) areas participated in this study. Most of the parents had never heard about HPV (73.6%), did not know that their daughters could get an HPV infection (62.7%) or cervical cancer (64.1%) in the future, and believed that HPV vaccine was not effective (67.1%). Parents living in the urban area were more likely to believe that HPV infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.43-5.06) and cervical cancer (aOR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.83-3.91) could cause serious health problems than those living in the rural area. The odds of agreeing that HPV vaccination will make girls sexually active was lower among urban than rural parents (aOR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33-0.94). There was no significant difference among parents in the urban and rural areas in their beliefs about susceptibility of their daughter to HPV infection or cervical cancer, and beliefs about the safety and ability of HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer.
Rural parents might be reluctant to recommend behaviors that can help prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer such as HPV vaccination for their daughters.
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Published online: March 26, 2018
The authors indicate no conflicts of interest.
This study was funded by Investigator Initiated Award from Merck & Co.
© 2018 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Published by Elsevier Inc.