2014 Poster Award Winners and Presentation Abstract| Volume 28, ISSUE 6, e55, November 2014

Increasing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination in Boys: Reducing Health Disparities through Advanced Pediatric Nursing Practice


      The purpose of this study was to examine parents’ knowledge of HPV and predictors of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for their sons’ ages 9 to 13 years of age.
      The prevalence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is increasing in the United States in both low risk and high risk groups of men, so it is imperative that pediatric nurse practitioners (PNP)s are educated and encourage HPV vaccination for boys (Smith, Gilbert, Melendy, Rana, & Pimenta, 2011). Vaccinating boys and men age 9-26 years, can prevent 5,416,000 cases of genital warts and 40,000 cancer-related deaths over the next century while saving $25,700 per quality adjusted life year (Elbasha & Dasbach, 2010). Raising awareness of the new HPV immunization guidelines from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is important to prevent HPV related cancer in men. Unfortunately use of the HPV vaccine in boys and young men continues to be low, only 8%-10% nationally, despite recommendations from the CDC.


      Using theoretical concepts articulated in the Health Belief Model, we anticipate differences in HPV vaccination across parent gender and community groups or counties.


      This community based descriptive cross sectional research was theoretically framed on the Health Belief Model. After IRB approval, data collection was conducted in collaboration with rural communities. Parents with sons ages 9 to 13 completed an anonymous survey with acceptable validity/reliability, CA.of 0.96. Using SPSS and SAS software, quantitative statistical analysis was conducted using logistic regression. Findings: Four hundred seventeen (417) parents responded to the statement, “The HPV vaccine is now available for boys, so I will vaccinate my son”. On average, the parents or caregivers who responded YES were 41 years old, mothers, African American, self-identified their religion as Baptist, had a high school education, and had a household income of $30,000 a year or less. No significant differences in scores on perceived vulnerability (43.72%), perceived severity (45.88%), and perceived benefits (44.54%) between parents who would and would not vaccinate their son. Mothers were found to be 1.68 times more likely than fathers to vaccinate their sons, and African Americans were 1.78 times more likely than Caucasians to vaccinate their sons.

      Clinical Implications

      Male focused nursing interventions focused on the HPV vaccine should start with increasing parents’ knowledge about HPV infection and the link between HPV infection and cancer. When PNPs are discussing HPV vaccination of boys’ with parents, three key points are: 1) HPV is spread by skin to skin contact; 2) HPV vaccination prevents cancer and 3) Studies show that HPV vaccination does not promote sexual promiscuity.