Aim: To investigate school nurses' perceptions of HPV immunization, and their task of administering the vaccine in a planned school-based program in Sweden.
Method: Data were collected through five focus group interviews with school nurses (n=30). The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using content analysis.
Findings: The theme Positive attitude to HPV immunization despite many identified problems and challenges summarizes the results. The school nurses saw the program as a benefit in that the free school-based HPV immunization program could balance out social inequalities. However, they questioned whether this new immunization program should be given priority given their already tight schedule. Some also expressed doubts regarding the effect of the vaccine. It was seen as challenging to obtain informed consent as well as to provide information regarding the vaccine. The nurses were unsure of whether boys and their parents should also be informed about the immunization.
Conclusion: Although some positive aspects of the new HPV immunization program were mentioned, the school nurses primarily identified problems and challenges; e.g. regarding priority setting, informed consent, culture and gender. In order to achieve a good work environment for the school nurses, and obtain a high coverage rate for the HPV immunization, these issues need to be taken seriously, be discussed and acted upon.
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