World J Mens Health.  2023 Apr;41(2):413-421. 10.5534/wjmh.210262.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Intent among Mothers of Adolescent Sons: A National Survey on HPV Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs in South Korea

  • 1Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, Houston, TX, USA
  • 2Department of Public Health Science, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Urology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Urology, Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Insttute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections affecting both males and females but there is an apparent lack of knowledge and apprehension towards male HPV vaccination South Korea. The purpose of the present study was to examine the associations between knowledge and perceptions of male HPV vaccination and vaccination intent among Korean mothers of adolescent sons.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study using a nationwide online survey. The independent variables were mothers’ sociodemographic characteristics, history of HPV diagnosis, general HPV knowledge, HPV vaccine knowledge, and attitudes and beliefs towards male HPV vaccination. The outcome variable was mothers’ intent to vaccinate their sons, which was classified into three categories: non-intent, undecided and intend to vaccinate. We performed univariate analysis and multinomial logistic regression analysis.
A total of 906 eligible mothers completed the survey. Mothers received low scores on the HPV-related knowledge scales with low ratings on the scale measuring perceived risk of HPV. Approximately 10% of the mothers intended to vaccinate their sons against HPV, 61.0% were undecided and 1.5% already had their sons vaccinated. According to the multinominal logistic regression analysis, having a daughter in the family, mothers’ previous diagnosis with HPV, general HPV knowledge, influence, harm, and risk were significantly associated with being undecided and having intentions to vaccinate their sons (p<0.05).
Our study revealed that Korean mothers are generally less aware of male HPV vaccination, have low perceived risk of HPV, and remain highly hesitant on vaccinating their sons against HPV. It is therefore important to raise public awareness about male HPV vaccination and alleviate vaccine hesitancy. Such efforts will contribute to improving parents’ vaccination intent, increasing vaccine uptake among male adolescents and prevention of HPV-associated diseases.


Attitude; Human papillomavirus; Human papillomavirus vaccine; Knowledge; Male adolescents; Parents
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