Nav: Home

Physicians report high refusal rates for the HPV vaccine and need for improvement

September 16, 2019

Despite its proven success at preventing cancer, many adolescents are still not getting the HPV vaccine. A new study from the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus shows that physicians' delivery and communication practices must improve to boost vaccination completion rates.

Health care providers must also learn to deal with parents hesitant to get their children vaccinated with HPV vaccine.

The study, published today in Pediatrics, is the first to examine pediatricians and family physicians' delivery practices for the vaccine since the new 2-dose schedule came out for adolescents 11 or 12-years-old.

"A physician recommendation is one of the most important factors in vaccine acceptance by parents," said Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, lead author and professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "However, we're seeing a lack of understanding from healthcare providers about the need for vaccination early in adolescence and high rates of refusal on the part of parents. The vaccine is underutilized, with less than half of American adolescents completing the vaccination. We need to maximize methods of introducing the vaccine that we know to be more effective, as well as the use of reminder and delivery methods at the practice in order to improve this rate."

Every year, HPV causes over 33,500 cases of cancer in women and men in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The earlier someone is vaccinated, the better the immune system responds. It also increases the chances of being vaccinated before having exposure to HPV strains," Kempe said. "If we can increase the rate of vaccination in early adolescence, then we can prevent cancers that develop in later years."

The study surveyed 588 pediatricians and family physicians and found that refusal rates from parents remain high, especially for 11 to 12-year-olds, the target population for vaccination.

But physicians who use a `presumptive style' approach have higher acceptance rates. Presumptive style means physicians introduce the HPV vaccine and recommend it in the same manner and as strongly as the other recommended adolescent vaccines for meningitis and Tdap.

For example, a doctor could say, "We've got three vaccines today: Tdap, HPV and Meningitis," rather than isolating HPV as an option that is not as important.

Still, the survey found some encouraging signs:
  • Despite a high refusal rate, pediatricians who strongly recommend the vaccine increased from 60% in 2013 to 85% in 2018 for 11 or 12-year-old females and from 52% to 83% for 11 to 12-year-old males.
  • Some 89% of pediatricians and 79% of family pediatricians reported more adolescents under age 15 are completing the HPV series now that only 2 doses are recommended.
Along with improving physician communication styles, HPV delivery could also be optimized by increased use of standing orders and alert systems in the medical record to remind providers of the need for vaccination at the point of care.
-end-
The study was supported by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is a world-class medical destination at the forefront of transformative science, medicine, education, and healthcare. The campus encompasses the University of Colorado health professional schools, more than 60 centers and institutes, and two nationally ranked hospitals that treat more than 2 million adult and pediatric patients each year. Innovative, interconnected and highly collaborative, together we deliver life-changing treatments, patient care, professional training, and conduct world-renowned research powered by more than $500 million in research awards. For more information, visit https://www.cuanschutz.edu/

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Related Cancer Articles:

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
Health indicators for newborns of breast cancer survivors may vary by cancer type
In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina.
Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
More than 80 percent of women living with a history of breast or ovarian cancer at high-risk of having a gene mutation have never taken the test that can detect it.
Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#540 Specialize? Or Generalize?
Ever been called a "jack of all trades, master of none"? The world loves to elevate specialists, people who drill deep into a single topic. Those people are great. But there's a place for generalists too, argues David Epstein. Jacks of all trades are often more successful than specialists. And he's got science to back it up. We talk with Epstein about his latest book, "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.