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It’s the start of the school year which means that the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will soon be offered free to girls, and some boys, across Canada through school vaccination programs. This also means that parents will be asked to sign a form to either consent or not consent the vaccine for their children.

Parents, let’s talk about that decision. Katelin Albert, a PhD candidate from the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto is conducting a study on the HPV vaccination available to grade 8 girls in Ontario. She is seeking Ontario parents for interviews to understand what experiences, beliefs, and opinions help guide parents in their decision on the HPV vaccine. These interviews are meant for both consenting and non-consenting parents with daughters in grade 6-12 in Ontario. The key objectives of these interviews are:

  • To discover how do parents reason or justify their decision to accept or reject the HPV vaccine for their grade 8 daughters?
  • To identify the motivations to accept or reject the vaccine from the perspective of the parent, specifically looking at how parents explain their decision.
  • To discover what factors, such as media and religion are part of a parent’s decision.
  • To understand how the HPV vaccination fits into their life, their child’s life, and their child’s future health and wellbeing.

No specialized or technical knowledge on the HPV vaccine is needed to participate in an interview.

Interviews are conversational and designed to understand what parents are thinking about during the decision, and how they are thinking about the vaccine itself. Involvement would include a one-hour interview, at a time and place of convenience for the parent. Interviews are confidential and will be kept anonymous.

Although the findings of this study may not directly benefit you, by participating in this study you will be making a valuable contribution to the development of a new understanding about how parents come to accept or reject the HPV vaccination for their daughters.

If you would like to participate, Katelin would be happy to arrange an interview at a location that is convenient for you. Please email to set up an interview, or if you have any questions about the study.

This research has received ethics approval from the University of Toronto and is supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada.