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J Natl Med Assoc. 2015 Jun;107(2):80-8. doi: 10.1016/S0027-9684(15)30028-6. Epub 2015 Dec 2.

Factors Associated with Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Acceptance Among Haitian and African-American parents of Adolescent Sons.

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Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. Electronic address:
Boston University School of Public Health.
Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston Medical Center.



The authors would like to thank Cecilia Marquez, Justine Lavoye, Elaine Shu and Hailey Tipton for their efforts with participant recruitment and data collection.


To assess knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices related to HPV vaccination among African-Americans and Haitian immigrant parents, and to compare vaccination rates of their sons.


We performed semi-structured interviews with parents of boys aged 11-17 who had not yet received the HPV vaccine. We used validated surveys of HPV knowledge, trust in physicians, and intention to vaccinate. We probed participants' thought processes about HPV vaccination, and examined parental attitudes, beliefs, and practices toward HPV vaccination using open-ended questions. We then reviewed medical records to determine whether sons were subsequently vaccinated.


25 African-American and 30 Haitian immigrant parents and legal guardians participated in the study. Haitian immigrants were more likely to be married and to practice a religion than African-Americans. Both groups had limited knowledge of HPV (32% of questions were answered correctly by Haitian immigrants vs. 31% by African-Americans). Sixty-four percent of African-Americans and 79% of Haitians intended to vaccinate their sons, however only 24% of African-American and 20% of Haitian sons received vaccination within 12 months of the interview. Open-ended questions revealed that most African-Americans felt that vaccination fell within the parental role, while some Haitian immigrants felt uncomfortable vaccinating against sexually transmitted infections because they felt children should not be having sex. Both groups wanted more information about HPV vaccines.


Improving HPV vaccine rates in Haitian and African-American boys may require culturally competent approaches that address ethnic-specific barriers among their parents.


African-American parents of sons; HPV vaccine; Haitians immigrant parents; acceptability in males

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