HealthDay News — Neither parental nor adolescent knowledge about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines helps predict vaccination compliance, according to researchers.

“Human papillomavirus vaccination has been shown to have important health benefits, but vaccination rates are low,” explained Jessica Fishman, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues in Pediatrics.

“Parental and adolescent knowledge could possibly promote vaccination, but the relationship between knowledge and subsequent vaccination is unclear.”

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To assess knowledge of HPV and HPV vaccination, the investigators surveyed residents from low-income, predominately African-American neighborhoods (n=211 adolescents; n=149 parents). Clinic reporting data were used to track adolescent vaccination.

On average, parents and adolescents answered slightly fewer than 50% of the knowledge items correctly at baseline, with 5% of parents and 10% of adolescents not answering any knowledge items correctly.

Only 13.4% of the surveyed parents’ daughters received an HPV vaccination within 12 months, and 15.2% of other adolescent sample reported vaccination, according to the inspectors. Neither parental nor adolescent knowledge was predictive of adolescent vaccination.

“Ideally, future interventions will target factors related to vaccination,” concluded the authors.


  1. Fishman J et al. Pediatrics. 2014; doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3454