Table 2.

Parents' perceptions of whether messages to promote HPV vaccination are persuasive, by child's HPV vaccination status (n = 1,504)

Child's HPV vaccination status
MessageTotal n (%)0 doses n (%)≥1 dose n (%)P
Panel An = 515n = 279n = 236
B1. My child has gotten HPV vaccine. [Child's name] should, too. (brief)125 (24)46 (16)79 (33)<0.001a
B2. I see you got hepatitis B vaccine for [child's name]. That's also a cancer vaccine for an infectious disease. (brief)171 (33)80 (29)91 (39)0.018b
L1. HPV vaccine is very important because it prevents cancer. I want [child's name] to be protected from cancer. That's why I'm recommending that [he/she] receives the first dose of HPV vaccine today. (longer)293 (57)126 (45)167 (71)<0.001a
L2. HPV vaccine has been carefully studied by medical and scientific experts. HPV vaccine has been shown to be very effective and very safe. Like other shots, most side effects are mild, primarily pain or redness in the arm. This should go away quickly, and HPV vaccine has not been associated with any long-term side effects. Since 2006, about 57 million doses of HPV vaccine have been distributed in the United States, and in the years of HPV vaccine safety studies and monitoring, no serious safety concerns have been identified. (longer)333 (65)151 (54)182 (77)<0.001a
L3. We're vaccinating today so [child's name] will have the best protection possible long before the start of any kind of sexual activity. We vaccinate people well before they are exposed to an infection, as is the case with measles and the other recommended childhood vaccines. Similarly, we want to vaccinate children well before they get exposed to HPV. (longer)303 (59)134 (48)169 (72)<0.001a
Panel Bn = 483n = 265n = 218
B3. [Child's name] can get [anal/cervical cancer] as an adult, but you can stop that right now. The HPV vaccine prevents most [anal/cervical cancers]. (brief)285 (59)131 (49)154 (71)<0.001a
B4. There will be many things in [child's name]'s life that you can't control. But you can control whether [he/she] gets some dangerous kinds of HPV. (brief)281 (58)128 (48)153 (70)<0.001a
L4. Research has shown that getting the HPV vaccine does not make kids more likely to be sexually active or start having sex at a younger age. (longer)203 (42)81 (31)122 (56)<0.001a
L5. HPV is so common that almost everyone will be infected at some point. It is estimated that 79 million Americans are currently infected, with 14 million new HPV infections each year. Most people infected will never know. So even if [child's name] waits until marriage to have sex, or only has one partner in the future, [he/she] could still be exposed if [his/her] partner has been exposed. (longer)297 (61)144 (54)153 (70)<0.001a
L6. I strongly believe in the importance of this cancer-preventing vaccine, and I have given HPV vaccine to my child. Experts (like the American Academy of Pediatrics, cancer doctors, and the CDC) also agree that this vaccine is very important for [child's name]. (longer)316 (65)140 (53)176 (81)<0.001a
Panel Cn = 506n = 265n = 241
B5. I strongly believe in the importance of this cancer-preventing vaccine for [child's name]. (brief)329 (65)130 (49)199 (83)<0.001a
B6. Would you wait until [child's name] is in a car accident before you tell [him/her] to wear a seatbelt? (brief)46 (9)14 (5)32 (13)0.001a
L7. HPV can cause cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva in women, cancer of the penis in men, and cancers of the anus and the mouth or throat in both women and men. There are about 26,000 of these cancers each year—and most could be prevented with HPV vaccine. There are also many more precancerous conditions requiring treatment that can have lasting effects. (longer)338 (67)149 (56)189 (78)<0.001a
L8. In clinical trials of boys and girls, the vaccine was shown to be extremely effective. In addition, studies in the United States and other countries that have introduced HPV vaccine have shown a significant reduction in infections caused by the HPV types targeted by the vaccine. (longer)352 (70)149 (56)203 (84)<0.001a
L9. I want to make sure that [child's name] receives all 3 shots of HPV vaccine to give [him/her] the best possible protection from cancer caused by HPV. Please make sure to make appointments on the way out, and put those appointments on your calendar before you leave the office today! (longer)285 (56)104 (39)181 (75)<0.001a
  • NOTE. The message length is indicated in parentheses. Brief messages consisted of 25 or fewer words, whereas longer messages had more than 25 words. Frequencies and percentages reflect agreement that the message would be persuasive. P values were derived from bivariate logistic regression models that determined if endorsement of each message differed by child's HPV vaccination status.

  • aP < 0.01.

  • bP < 0.05.