Urban-Rural Inequities in the Parental Attitudes and Beliefs Towards Human Papillomavirus Infection, Cervical Cancer, and Human Papillomavirus Vaccine in Mysore, India

Abraham Degarege, Karl Krupp, Kristopher Fennie, Tan Li, Dionne P. Stephens, Laura A.V. Marlow, Vijaya Srinivas, Anjali Arun, Purnima Madhivanan

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Study Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the parental attitudes and beliefs about human papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer, and HPV vaccine between urban and rural areas, India. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Mysore, India. Participants: Parents of school-going adolescent girls. Interventions: Parents completed a self-administered questionnaire. Main Outcome Measures: Attitudes and beliefs about HPV, cervical cancer, and HPV vaccine. Results: A total of 1609 parents from urban (n = 778) and rural (n = 831) areas participated in this study. Most of the parents had never heard about HPV (73.6%), did not know that their daughters could get an HPV infection (62.7%) or cervical cancer (64.1%) in the future, and believed that HPV vaccine was not effective (67.1%). Parents living in the urban area were more likely to believe that HPV infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.43-5.06) and cervical cancer (aOR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.83-3.91) could cause serious health problems than those living in the rural area. The odds of agreeing that HPV vaccination will make girls sexually active was lower among urban than rural parents (aOR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33-0.94). There was no significant difference among parents in the urban and rural areas in their beliefs about susceptibility of their daughter to HPV infection or cervical cancer, and beliefs about the safety and ability of HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer. Conclusion: Rural parents might be reluctant to recommend behaviors that can help prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer such as HPV vaccination for their daughters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-502
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018



  • Attitudes
  • Beliefs
  • Cervical cancer
  • HPV infection
  • HPV vaccine
  • India

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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