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Health Psychol. 2010 Nov;29(6):618-25. doi: 10.1037/a0021449.

"I just signed": Factors influencing decision-making for school-based HPV vaccination of adolescent girls.

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  • 1Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney, Australia, at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia.



Australia was one of the first countries to implement a nationwide program providing HPV vaccination to girls at school. To date, there are no published studies describing decision-making processes and behavior postimplementation of HPV vaccination of adolescents participating in a school-based program.


A purposive sample of nine schools was selected to reflect a range of vaccination coverage and school types. Semistructured focus groups with girls and interviews with parents, teachers, and immunization nurses (n = 185) were conducted until saturation was reached. Transcripts were analyzed inductively and emergent themes were subject to constant comparison.


Explanatory model of decision-making in HPV vaccination.


An explanatory model of decision-making and behavior was constructed from the data. Five decision-making states emerged across a continuum of vaccination behavior: active decision-vaccinated, passive decision- vaccinated, passive decision- not vaccinated, active decision- not vaccinated, and antivaccination. A range of factors influenced participants in each decision-behavior state. Adolescents were often part of the decision-making process. Where adolescents were not involved, nonagreement sometimes occurred.


We have presented a variety of paths girls and their parents experience regarding decision-making and behavior in HPV vaccination. Attitudes, past experiences, and worldviews contributed to this process.

© 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

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