Volume 36, Issue 19 Pages 2501-2742 (3 May 2018)
Human papillomavirus vaccine acceptability and decision-making among adolescent boys and parents: A meta-ethnography of qualitative studies
Ashley Lacombe-Duncan, Peter A. Newman, Philip Baiden
Genital warts and human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers in men can be substantially reduced through HPV vaccination; yet, globally, HPV vaccine uptake among boys remains low. This meta-ethnography synthesizes qualitative studies to understand, in-depth, HPV vaccine acceptability and decision-making among adolescent boys and/or their parents.
A systematic search identified qualitative studies examining HPV vaccines from the perspectives of boys and/or boys’ parents. The Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) 32-item checklist was used to assess quality of reporting. Using meta-ethnographic techniques, we conducted a structured and iterative process of data analysis, coded original studies, and then developed descriptive and analytic themes to synthesize the findings.
Review of 15 eligible studies (n = 3362 parents, n = 39 boys) revealed multilevel factors that influence HPV vaccine acceptability and decision-making among adolescent boys and their parents: (1) individual, e.g., low HPV vaccine knowledge/awareness, (2) interpersonal, e.g., key relationships between parents, sons, and healthcare providers (HCP), (3) community/societal, e.g., parental duty to protect, and (4) systemic, e.g., HPV vaccine messaging. Parents generally accepted adolescent boys’ sexuality and the need for vaccination, motivated by wanting to protect their sons from HPV and HPV-associated cancers, and valued HCP-initiated discussion and recommendation. Acceptability was mitigated by low awareness/knowledge of HPV vaccines and low perceived benefits for boys, lack of HCP-initiated discussion, out-of-pocket costs, multiple doses, stigma, and mixed messages about HPV.
Multilevel factors influence HPV vaccine acceptability and decision-making among parents and their adolescent sons. Providing clear and unambiguous messages about HPV vaccines—for whom (boys and girls), for what (genital warts and cancers in men), and when (before sexual debut)—through increased HCP-initiated discussion and targeted public health campaigns may support HPV vaccine uptake among boys. Future research should consistently disaggregate findings by sex of child and parent, and explore effective messaging tailored for boys and parents.