Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Introduction Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2013). According to the CDC (2013), the virus, primarily types 16 and 18, is the cause of cervical cancer in women. There are vaccines on the market today that can prevent HPV, but less than 26 percent of females have had at least one dose of the three doses required for complete inoculation against the virus (Reiter et al., 2009). Aware of the enormous role of parents in ensuring that their adolescent daughters get vaccinated, Reiter et al. (2009) conducted a study to examine whether the health beliefs of parents have an impact on the vaccination behavior of their adolescent daughters, particularly HPV vaccination. According to Reiter et al. (2009), there is a growing body of literature on parents’ health beliefs and HPV vaccine acceptability and intent to vaccinate. However, their study is the second of two studies to examine the correlates of parents’ health beliefs and HPV vaccine initiation. The study involved 899 parents with adolescent daughters (n = 624 Whites, n = 206 African-Americans, and n = 59 from other races) from communities with high rates of cervical cancer in North Carolina. Using as a theoretical framework the Health Belief Model (HBM), Reiter et al. (2009) found that parents’ beliefs about HPV vaccination are highly correlated with their daughters HPV vaccine initiation.

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