Background Coverage of the UK National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme is declining. Under-screened women whose daughters participate in the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme could be stimulated to attend. We investigated whether factors associated with the vaccination programme changed mothers’ intentions for future screening.
Methods Questionnaires were sent to mothers of girls aged 12–13 years across two North West primary care trusts (n=2387) to assess the effect of the HPV vaccination programme on screening intentions. This identified mothers whose intentions had changed. Consent was sought to contact them for a semi-structured interview to discuss their screening intentions. Key themes were identified using framework analysis.
Results 97/606 women responding to the questionnaire had changed their views about cervical screening. 23 women were interviewed, 10 of whom expressed a positive change and 13 no change. Most had discussed the vaccine information, including cervical screening, with their daughters. Mothers who made a positive change decision recognised their daughters’ risk of cervical cancer, the need for future screening, and the importance of their own example. In this way daughters became ‘significant others’ in reinforcing their mothers’ cervical screening motivation.
Conclusions A daughter's invitation for HPV vaccination instigates a reassessment of cervical screening intention in some under-screened mothers.
- cervical screening
- human papillomavirus
- qualitative research
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