Adolescent HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccination is yet to be introduced as a mandatory program in Poland. Polish literature on factors associated with adolescent HPV vaccination is scant, despite the fact that uptake is one of the poorest in the European Union. Objectives:
To assess HPV awareness and identify independent predictors for parental willingness to have their children vaccinated against HPV. Methods:
All parents of first grade students from three selected high schools in Zgorzelec, Poland, who participated in parent–teacher meetings at the time the study was conducted, had their children unvaccinated regarding HPV, and who gave informed consent to participate were included. There were 600 first grade students; 9 were vaccinated against HPV. This left 591 parents who met the eligibility criteria; the response rate was 76.1%. Results:
Awareness of HPV was reported by 55.3% of 450 parents (mean age 42 years, 70.9% females); 85.1% expressed their willingness to vaccinate their children against HPV; 31.3% identified HPV as a sexually transmitted pathogen, and 36.2% identified it as a risk factor of cervical cancer. Multivariable logistic regression analyses indicated that being employed (OR 2.09; 95% CI: 1.10–3.86), having positive attitudes toward vaccines (OR 3.02; 95% CI: 1.34–6.49), previous information about HPV (OR 2.02; 95% CI: 1.17–3.51), and concerns about the side effects of the HPV vaccine (OR 0.60; 95% CI: 0.35–0.99) were independent predictors of parents’ willingness to vaccinate. Conclusions:
Attitudes regarding their child being vaccinated against HPV were positive among Polish parents, even though awareness and knowledge of HPV in this group were low. Most of the significant factors that influenced their willingness were modifiable, such as being informed about HPV and having positive attitudes toward vaccines. Future interventions should focus specifically on vulnerable subgroups, such as unemployed parents.
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