Accuracy of Parental Reports of Children's HPV Vaccine Status: Implications for Estimates of Disparities, 2009-2010

Public Health Rep. 2014 May;129(3):237-44. doi: 10.1177/003335491412900305.


Objectives: Since the introduction of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in 2006, there have been considerable efforts at the national and state levels to monitor uptake and better understand the individual and system-level factors that predict who gets vaccinated. A common method of measuring the vaccination status of adolescents is through parental recall. We examined how the accuracy of parents' reports of their daughters' HPV vaccination status varied by social characteristics.

Methods: Data were taken from the 2009-2010 National Immunization Survey (NIS)-Teen, which includes a household interview and a provider-completed immunization history. We evaluated concordance between parents' and providers' reports of teens' HPV vaccine initiation (≥1 dose) and completion (≥3 doses). We assessed bivariate associations of sociodemographic characteristics with having a concordant, false-positive (overreporting) or false-negative (underreporting) report, and used multinomial logistic regression to estimate the independent impact of each characteristic.

Results: In bivariate analyses, concordance of parent-reported HPV vaccine initiation was associated with each of the sociodemographic characteristics investigated. In regression models, self-reported nonwhite race, lower household income, and lower education level of the teen's mother were associated with a higher likelihood of having a false-negative parental report than a concordant report.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that, while estimates of overall coverage based on parental report may be unbiased, the differences in the accuracy of parental report could result in misleading estimates of disparities in HPV vaccine coverage.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Data Collection / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Parents*
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines