Accuracy of self-reported human papillomavirus vaccine receipt among adolescent girls and their mothers

J Adolesc Health. 2012 Jan;50(1):103-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.04.010. Epub 2011 May 28.


Purpose: The use of self-report of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination status has several implications for clinical care and research. Reports of HPV vaccination history of adolescent girls (ages: 14-17 years) and their mothers were compared with medical chart data to assess the accuracy of HPV vaccine recall.

Methods: Adolescent girls (N = 74) and their mothers independently completed questionnaires regarding HPV vaccination history, which were compared with medical chart data to assess the accuracy of HPV vaccine recall.

Results: There were high levels of inaccuracy between actual HPV vaccination and self-report of vaccine receipt. Both mothers and daughters had poor recall of HPV vaccination, and were more likely to underestimate than overestimate the coverage. Girls who accurately reported their vaccination status were not more likely to have been sexually active in the past 2 months (p = .75).

Conclusions: These findings have clinical and research implications, as self-report is relied on to assess young women's vaccination status in research settings or in the absence of medical records. These data address the still prevalent concern that HPV vaccination encourages adolescent sexual behavior. It is unlikely that sexual behaviors will change as a result of vaccination in the large percentage of girls who cannot recall being vaccinated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medical Records
  • Mental Recall*
  • Mothers*
  • Nuclear Family*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Self Report / standards*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • United States
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines