Knowledge and acceptability of human papillomavirus vaccination and text message reminders for adolescents in urban emergency departments: A pilot study

Waridibo E. Allison, Ada Rubin, Trisha V. Melhado, Aro Choi, Deborah A. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Cervical, oropharyngeal and anogenital cancers are vaccine-preventable diseases, but human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage in the US remains poor overall with regional variations in vaccination rates. We explore the acceptability by adolescents and their parents of HPV vaccination and text message reminders in the non-traditional setting of the emergency department (ED). Patients and Methods: The modified validated Carolina HPV Attitudes and Beliefs Scale (CHIAS) survey was administered at two urban EDs to adolescents aged 13–18 years and their parents. Demographic information was collected for each participating adolescent. Recruitment occurred with consecutive eligible participants on the ED census list approached within 4-hour blocks from 8am to 8pm. Results: Ninety-six adolescents completed the survey. The mean adolescent and parental knowledge scores were 63% (SD=29.7) and 60% (SD=22.1), respectively. The higher the HPV knowledge score among both adolescents and parents, the more likely they were to accept HPV vaccine in ED. Among the 10 cases where the parents disagreed to the HPV vaccine and the adolescents agreed to the HPV vaccine, the mean knowledge score among parents disagreeing was 47 compared to 62 among the remaining parents (p=0.04). Sixty-seven percent of adolescents and 68% of parents were agreeable to the adolescent receiving vaccination in the ED (kappa = 0.24). Seventy-five percent of adolescents and 71% of parents reported being agreeable to receiving text reminders for HPV vaccines (kappa = 0.20). Adolescent agreement with receiving a text message reminder corresponded with an increased willingness to be vaccinated (OR=3.21, 95% CI=1.07–9.57, p-value=0.0368). Sexually active adolescents were older (mean age, 17 years) than those who reported no sexual activity (mean age, 15 years) (p<0.0001). Conclusion: Increased knowledge about HPV influences vaccine acceptance. Parents and adolescents may disagree in accepting HPV vaccination. A majority of adolescents and their parents were agreeable to receiving HPV vaccination in the ED and subsequent text message reminders. The ED should be explored further as a non-traditional healthcare setting for HPV vaccination of adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalOpen Access Emergency Medicine
StatePublished - 2020


  • Adolescent
  • Prevention
  • Public health
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccine


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