Statistical Versus Narrative Risk Information: Implications for Future Communication About hpv Vaccination

  • M. Pot
  • H.M. van Keulen
  • T.W.G.M. Paulussen
  • W.Otten
  • R.A.C. Ruiter


Background: In an experimental online study we compared the effects of different types of risk information on mothers’ perceived vulnerability towards HPV and cervical cancer of their daughter . Methods: 375 mothers of girls-to-be invited to the HPV vaccination round of 2014 were derived from the National Immunization Register and were randomly assigned to one of four conditions in a 2 (statistical information: yes or no) x 2 (narrative information: yes or no) factorial between-subjects design. Narrative information was expected to increase perceived susceptibility to both HPV and cervical cancer, while statistical information was only expected to increase perceived susceptibility towards HPV due to difference in prevalence rates between HPV (high) and cervical cancer (low). Findings: Mothers who received statistical information felt their daughter was more susceptible towards HPV than mothers who received no statistical information. No effects of narrative information were found. Discussion: Among mothers, statistical information seems most effective in increasing perceived vulnerability of their daughters towards HPV and may thus motivate decision making towards HPV vaccination.
Oral presentations