Exploring Parents’ Decisions Regarding HPV Vaccination for Their Daughters in Jakarta, Indonesia: A Qualitative Study

Publication Name

Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention


Background: Cervical cancer, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide. Although many countries have introduced national HPV vaccination programs, many girls worldwide remain unprotected. As part of a demonstration project in 2016, the Indonesian government provided the HPV vaccination for free to all year five and six female students in Jakarta and several other cities, with a plan to roll out the program nationally in the future. Understanding parents’ decision-making regarding whether they will allow their daughters to receive the HPV vaccine is important to ensure optimum uptake. Methods: Twenty-four parents in Jakarta were interviewed. Data were analysed thematically using The Theory of Planned Behaviour constructs of attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control. Result: Some parents had limited knowledge about cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine; others did not even realise that the free HPV vaccination program had been offered in their daughter’s schools. Those who had better knowledge and positive attitudes trusted their health professionals as a source of information. Peer approval, trust in the government and having the vaccine through a school-based program was important for trust, eliminated cost barriers, and increased access. Conclusion: Parents’ attitudes towards cervical cancer and HPV vaccination are influenced in part by their knowledge. Shaping positive initial attitudes is important, as once formed, attitudes are often difficult to change. Our findings suggest that a free school-based vaccine accompanied by sufficient and non-ambiguous information from trusted sources is vital to uptake.

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