Measuring adolescents’ knowledge about HPV

May 16, 2017 | Press Releases & Announcements

Spring Cooper

Dr. Spring Cooper

Dr. Spring Cooper, professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and colleagues, assessed adolescents’ knowledge about human papillomavirus (HPV) and involvement in HPV vaccine decision-making. The study was published in the journal Public Health.

The research team described the development and validation of measures of human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV vaccination knowledge, fear and anxiety about vaccination, involvement in HPV vaccine decision-making, and self-efficacy with regard to getting the vaccine.

A literature search identified existing items and the team modified them. Experts reviewed draft measures for face and content validity. The team also used cognitive interviews with adolescents to assess content validity. After the adolescents completed the measures, the research team analyzed each measure for internal reliability.

The four experts concurred that the measures had face validity. Cognitive interviews identified items requiring refinement. Ten experts examined content validity and deemed it acceptable. There were 1800 adolescents who completed the measures; Cronbach’s alpha was >0.6 for three of the four measures. The four final measures are brief, comprising 25 items in total.

The research team concluded that the measures were robustly developed and validity-tested. They also suggested that the  HPV Adolescent Vaccine Intervention Questionnaire may be used in research settings to evaluate adolescents’ knowledge and experiences of the process of HPV vaccination in a school-based vaccination program.


Forster A, McBride K, Davies C et al. Development and validation of measures to evaluate adolescents’ knowledge about human papillomavirus (HPV), involvement in HPV vaccine decision-making, self-efficacy to receive the vaccine and fear and anxiety. Public Health. 2017;147:77-83. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2017.02.006.