Knowledge and beliefs about human papillomavirus and vaccination against it among adolescents and parents

Anna Linda Upmale, Anete Vanaga, Jana Žodžika

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Immunization against human papillomavirus (HPV) in Latvia started in 2010; the average coverage is under 60%. It is important to understand what knowledge adolescents and parents have about HPV, as a lack of knowledge can seriously threaten the vaccination coverage, which affects the spread of HPV-related diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate adolescents and parents' knowledge and their beliefs about HPV and vaccination. A cross-sectional survey was carried out. Structured questionnaires were used for surveys in the Internet and in schools. 1576 questionnaires were analyzed. Respondents were parents and 8th grade pupils from Riga. Knowledge was assessed using 17 questions, and overall knowledge was scored according to the correctly answered questions. This research was approved by RSU Ethics Committee. The results were statistically analyzed using IBM SPSS 26. The study included 1266 adolescents (58.1% girls, 41.9% boys) and 310 parents (96.8% mothers, 3.2% fathers). Using a scale from 1 to 5 correspondingly to how informed they felt about HPV vaccine benefits and possible risks, the analysis indicated the mean 2.1 for adolescents, 3.5 for parents. 6.6% adolescents and 56.8% parents knew HPV may cause cervical cancer. 54.5% adolescents believed that most sexually active people do not develop HPV in their lifetime. 32.9% adolescents and 21.3% parents considered that the vaccine contains cancer cells. 34.4% adolescents and 25.2% parents assumed that after the vaccination there is a risk of infertility. The knowledge score of the parents of vaccinated adolescents was statistically significantly higher than of the parents of non-vaccinated adolescents, the same was observed between vaccinated and non-vaccinated adolescents (p<0.001). The study implies that parents who vaccinate their children, and adolescents who are vaccinated have better knowledge about HPV and vaccination. To increase the vaccination coverage, it is important to improve adolescents and their parents’ knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Knowledge for Use in Practice - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Knowledge for Use in Practice
Abbreviated titleRW2021
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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