Social inequality and HPV vaccination

The project aims to map whether there are connections between the parents' background and the daughters' HPV vaccine status.

Project description

The HPV vaccine against viruses that cause cervical cancer has been offered to all girls in seventh grade since 2009. The coverage has been significantly lower than expected and is around 20 percentage points lower than other vaccines in the Childhood Immunisation Programme. Little is known about the reasons for this.

Since HPV vaccination requires parental consent, parents will have an impact on their daughters' participation in the vaccination. The purpose of this study is to identify whether there are correlations between parents' background and their daughter's HPV vaccine status.

We are particularly interested in investigating whether there may be social inequality (related to education, income, occupation, country of birth) between families with girls who take/do not take the HPV vaccine. We will also investigate any differences in preventive health behaviour (maternal attendance for screening, uptake of other childhood vaccines), as well as demographic differences (age, parity, geographical areas).

Knowledge from the project can be used to increase participation in HPV vaccination.

The study is a population-based registry study, in which information from several national registries is linked. Data from Norwegian girls born in 1997, 1998 and 1999 respectively, as well as their parents, will be used in the study. This correlates with the introduction of the HPV vaccine in Norway, and will constitute a sample of approximately 270,000 people. An exemption from the duty of confidentiality is sought in connection with the project.

Project participants

Bo Terning Hansen, Mari Nygård, Suzanne Campbell and Emily Burger.

The project is funded by the Cancer Registry of Norway.