"I just signed": Factors influencing decision-making for school-based HPV vaccination of adolescent girls

Health Psychol. 2010 Nov;29(6):618-25. doi: 10.1037/a0021449.


Objectives: Australia was one of the first countries to implement a nationwide program providing HPV vaccination to girls at school. To date, there are no published studies describing decision-making processes and behavior postimplementation of HPV vaccination of adolescents participating in a school-based program.

Design: A purposive sample of nine schools was selected to reflect a range of vaccination coverage and school types. Semistructured focus groups with girls and interviews with parents, teachers, and immunization nurses (n = 185) were conducted until saturation was reached. Transcripts were analyzed inductively and emergent themes were subject to constant comparison.

Main outcome measures: Explanatory model of decision-making in HPV vaccination.

Results: An explanatory model of decision-making and behavior was constructed from the data. Five decision-making states emerged across a continuum of vaccination behavior: active decision-vaccinated, passive decision- vaccinated, passive decision- not vaccinated, active decision- not vaccinated, and antivaccination. A range of factors influenced participants in each decision-behavior state. Adolescents were often part of the decision-making process. Where adolescents were not involved, nonagreement sometimes occurred.

Conclusion: We have presented a variety of paths girls and their parents experience regarding decision-making and behavior in HPV vaccination. Attitudes, past experiences, and worldviews contributed to this process.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Decision Making*
  • Faculty
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Mothers
  • Narration
  • New South Wales
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • School Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • School Nursing
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*