Despite the fact that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is extremely efficient in preventing anogenital malignancies, vaccination rates in the United States remain low. Parents are increasingly turning to the internet for information when considering whether or not to vaccinate their children. The purpose of this study was to assess the readability of material about HPV vaccinations obtained on 100 websites using an online search. The first 50 non-duplicated websites from the search “HPV immunisation” were captured to produce the website sample, followed by the first 50 non-duplicated websites from the search “Gardasil.” Websites were compared using keyword searches and whether they had a commercial or non-commercial URL extension. The majority of websites were discovered to provide content that required a high degree of reading. Websites with commercial URL extensions and those discovered using the search term “Gardasil” got higher mean readability ratings.
These findings imply that many parents may not comprehend the information currently available on the internet, and that initiatives focused at enhancing the readability of online material might aid in increasing parental approval of the vaccination.