Recommendations from health care professionals may improve uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, according to a systematic review published in the January 2014 issue of JAMA Pediatrics
Vaccination against HPV has remained low among adolescents in the United States, and the researchers of the study set out to determine the major barriers limiting vaccination. Using PubMed, 55 relevant articles conducted from 2009 and on were identified and included in the review. Data from the included studies were categorized according to the target population addressed in the article: health care professionals, parents, underserved and disadvantaged populations, and boys.
Health care professionals frequently reported financial concerns and the attitudes of parents as barriers to giving the shot to their patients. Some parents also cited the cost of the vaccine as a barrier, while many reported irregular preventive care, concerns about the vaccine’s effect on their child’s sexual behavior, and a perceived low risk for infection. Despite these barriers, parents consistently reported health care professional recommendations to be one of the most important factors when making the decision to vaccinate their children.
To increase HPV vaccination among adolescents, the authors suggest that the barriers of specific populations be considered.