Nav: Home

Addressing HPV vaccination concerns

March 11, 2020

(Boston, MA) -Research from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute finds a promising avenue for addressing vaccine hesitancy around HPV vaccine. The study, "Tailored Messages Addressing HPV Vaccination Concerns Improves Behavioral Intent Among Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial," appears in the xx issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing infection against certain types of HPV that can lead to cervical, oropharyngeal, and anal cancers. However, HPV vaccine coverage in pre-teens and young teens remains sub-optimal, with only 61% of 13-year-old girls and 64% of 13-year-old boys in the U.S. initiating the vaccine series, with wide variation across states. Parental hesitancy is one reason for low vaccination coverage. In fact, vaccine hesitancy in general has been identified as one of the top ten global health threats by the WHO, which suggests the strong need for work addressing this issue. When recommending HPV vaccine, the current guidelines suggest clinicians use a presumptive, bundled messaging approach, in which a provider presumes that the parent is ready to vaccinate and states that the child is "due" for all age-appropriate vaccines at the 11-12 year old well-visit appointment, including HPV vaccine. However, this approach, by itself, may not be the most effective strategy for parents with specific concerns about the HPV vaccine.

In a large web-based randomized controlled trial of mothers with concerns about the HPV vaccine, investigators compared the impact of implementing the current guideline alone and in combination with tailored messages on HPV vaccination intent. These mothers, all of whom did not intent to vaccinate their 11-14 year-old child within the next 12 months, were randomized to one of three groups: a) "control" which watched a bundled recommendation video; b) "top concern" which watched the control video plus a video tailored to their top HPV vaccine concern; or c) "all concerns" which watched the control video plus videos on the top 5 most common HPV vaccine concerns.

Study results found that tailored messages addressing all of the specific concerns of vaccine hesitant mothers improved HPV vaccination intent, and tailored messages addressing the top concern marginally improved intent; these improvements were not observed in the control group.

"We found that a presumptive, bundled messaging approach, by itself, may not be the most effective strategy for increasing HPV vaccine uptake in pre-teens and young teens who have parents with specific concerns about the vaccine," said co-lead author Catherine Panozzo, PhD, Assistant Professor of Population Medicine at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School. Adds Dr. Panozzo,, "our findings contribute to the growing body of literature suggesting that tailored recommendations may be essential for improving HPV vaccination acceptance among hesitant parents".

Regarding future directions, co-lead author, Dr. Katharine Head, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, commented, "We suggest that future studies determine whether these improvements in HPV vaccination intent can translate to actual improvements in HPV vaccination in clinic settings. In fact, our team is working to integrate these messaging strategies into a clinical intervention to test this very hypothesis."
About Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute's Department of Population Medicine

The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute's Department of Population Medicine is a unique collaboration between Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Harvard Medical School. Created in 1992, it was the first medical school department in the United States based in a health plan. The Institute focuses on improving health care delivery and population health through innovative research and teaching.

More Information

Tailored Messages Addressing HPV Vaccination Concerns Improves Behavioral Intent Among Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial is co-authored by investigators from: Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, Department of Communication Studies; Department of Family & Community Health, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; Vaccine Education Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia/ Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania/ Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Division of Disease Control; Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute

Related Hpv Vaccine Articles:

Therapeutic HPV vaccine may improve outcomes in advanced cervical cancer
Combining a therapeutic vaccine for human papilloma virus (HPV) with two standard chemotherapy drugs may extend survival in patients with advanced, recurrent cervical cancer, according to a phase 1/2 trial involving 77 patients.
HPV vaccine hesitancy in Japan could result in 5,000 additional death
The precipitous drop in HPV vaccination rates after suspension of proactive recommendations by the government in 2013 could result in an additional 25,000 cervical cancer cases and more than 5,000 additional deaths among females born between 1994 to 2007 in Japan.
Single HPV vaccine dose may be effective against cervical cancer
New research published in CANCER indicates that a single dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is as effective as multiple doses for preventing preinvasive cervical disease, which can later develop into cervical cancer.
Physicians report high refusal rates for the HPV vaccine and need for improvement
Despite its proven success at preventing cancer, many adolescents are still not getting the HPV vaccine.
One dose of HPV vaccine may be enough, Australian research finds
One dose of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has comparable effectiveness to 2 or 3 doses for preventing cervical pre-cancer, according to a new study.
HPV vaccine coverage is far behind other infant vaccines in many US states
Trends in HPV vaccine uptake in children in the US.
Two types of HPV linked to cervical cancer have declined since the advent of the HPV vaccine
An analysis of cervical precancers over a period of seven years showed that two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that have been targeted by vaccination since 2006 have declined, accounting for a smaller proportion of cervical disease.
The HPV vaccine: Why parents really choose to refuse
The findings, published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, could help public health officials and professional societies develop new interventions to increase rates of HPV vaccination.
Analysis finds HPV vaccine safe
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause certain cancers in women and men, but HPV vaccines are highly effective in preventing infection with oncogenic HPV types.
Sylvester researcher uses HPV vaccine to treat patient with skin cancer
In 2017, a case report by Dr. Anna Nichols showed the HPV vaccine Gardasil reduced the number of new basal and squamous cell skin cancers in two patients.
More Hpv Vaccine News and Hpv Vaccine Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at