Since the introduction of the HPV vaccine in Chile in 2014, there have been few studies exploring community perspectives on the vaccine, specifically of parents of adolescents. This study sought to identify maternal factors and family dynamics that affect HPV vaccination behavior.
Participants were recruited at an OB/GYN clinic in Linares, Chile. Participation was voluntary, and eligibility required 1) having an adolescent daughter between 9 and19 years-old and 2) demonstrating a willingness to discuss HPV-related topics. Thirty semi-structured interviews were conducted to generate qualitative data analyzed using Grounded Theory methodology.
Three thematic constructs emerged from the interviews. Mothers’ motivations to vaccinate centered on disease prevention and trust in the medical system but were influenced by notions of sexual liberalism and promiscuity. Second, participants desired, but often had trouble finding, adequate information about vaccine safety and turned to the internet. Third, joint decision making in the family about vaccination led to open family discussions about sex and sexuality.
Chile’s school-based opt-out HPV vaccination program engenders a unique landscape of maternal decision-making, risk-benefit analysis, information-seeking, and at-home discussion. More studies are needed around the variable role of fathers in the decision-making process.

© 2021 Arams et al.