Kansan Guardian Perceptions of HPV and the HPV Vaccine and the Role of Social Media


  • Monique L. R. Luisi, Ph.D.




Introduction. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates in Kansas historically have been low among children and adolescents. How Kansas parents and guardians perceive the HPV vaccine may influence vaccination rates among Kansas youth. Social media messages also may influence perceptions, suggesting implications for current and future disease and cancer burden.

Methods. Eligible Kansas guardians of children aged 9 - 17 years completed an online survey. The survey assessed their perceptions about a) HPV and the HPV vaccine, b) HPV and HPV vaccine representation on social media, and c) the effects that social media has on their perceptions about HPV and the HPV vaccine.

Results. Most Kansas guardians (n = 55, 57.9%) indicated seeing information about HPV and the HPV vaccine on social media. Kansas guardians who had reported seeing information on social media about the HPV vaccine were significantly more likely to perceive that the HPV vaccine could kill their child than those who had not seen information (t(79) = 0.019). Additionally, children of wealthier Kansan guardians were vaccinated more than children of less wealthy guardians.

Conclusion. Social media messages may be influencing Kansan guardians to think the HPV vaccine is lethal in their children. Future campaigns increasingly should be focused on HPV vaccine safety and effectiveness.






Original Research