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An Exploratory Study of Japanese Fathers' Knowledge of and Attitudes towards HPV and HPV Vaccination: Does Marital Status Matter?

  • Hanley, Sharon Janet Bruce (Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and Oncology, Hokkaido University) ;
  • Yoshioka, Eiji (Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University) ;
  • Ito, Yoshiya (Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Nursing, Japanese Red Cross Hokkaido Red Cross College of Nursing) ;
  • Konno, Ryo (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Jichi Medical University) ;
  • Sasaki, Yuri (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Jichi Medical University) ;
  • Kishi, Reiko (Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University) ;
  • Sakuragi, Noriaki (Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and Oncology, Hokkaido University)
  • Published : 2014.02.28

Abstract

Background: No studies on male attitudes towards HPV and HPV vaccination have been conducted in Japan, and little is known globally whether attitudes of single fathers differ to those living with a female partner. This exploratory study assessed whether Japanese fathers were likely to have their daughter vaccinated against HPV in a publically funded program and whether any differences existed regarding attitudes and knowledge about HPV according to marital status. Materials and Methods: Subjects were 27 fathers (16 single; 11 married) who took part in a study on HPV vaccine acceptability aimed at primary caregivers of girls aged 11-14 yrs in three Japanese cities between July and December 2010. Results: Knowledge about HPV was extremely poor (mean score out of 13 being $2.74{\pm}3.22$) with only one (3.7%) participant believing he had been infected with HPV and most (81.4%) believing they had no or low future risk. No difference existed regarding knowledge or awareness of HPV according to marital status. Concerning perceived risk for daughters, single fathers were significantly more likely to believe their daughter was at risk for both HPV (87.5% versus 36.4%; p=0.01) and cervical cancer (75.0% versus 27.3%; p=0.02). Acceptability of free HPV vaccination was high at 92% with no difference according to marital status, however single fathers were significantly more likely (p=0.01) to pay when vaccination came at a cost. Concerns specific to single fathers included explaining the sexual nature of HPV and taking a daughter to a gynecologist to be vaccinated. Conclusions: Knowledge about HPV among Japanese fathers is poor, but HPV vaccine acceptability is high and does not differ by marital status. Providing sexual health education in schools that addresses lack of knowledge about HPV as well as information preferences expressed by single fathers, may not only increase HPV vaccine acceptance, but also actively involve men in cervical cancer prevention strategies. However, further large-scale quantitative studies are needed.

Keywords

HPV vaccine;knowledge;attitudes;fathers;daughters

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