More than half of Texas physicians do not always recommend HPV vaccine to girls

Aug 06, 2009

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the human papillomavirus vaccination for all 11- and 12-year-old girls, but results of a recent survey showed that more than half of Texas physicians do not follow these recommendations.

The survey was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"Two years after the FDA approved the , the study suggests that additional efforts are needed to encourage physicians to follow these national recommendations," said Jessica Kahn, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

The quadrivalent (HPV) vaccine has been mired in controversy since it was approved in 2006. Texas placed itself at the center of that controversy early on with a mandate for universal vaccination from the governor's office, followed by a swift rebuke of that mandate from the legislature.

Kahn said she was approached by the Texas Medical Association to assist them in conducting this survey as part of their efforts to assess educational needs related to HPV vaccination among Texas physicians. Kahn and colleagues surveyed 1,122 physicians.

Of the respondents, 48.5 percent said they always recommend the to , 68.4 percent said they were likely to recommend the vaccine to boys and 41.7 percent agreed with mandated vaccination.

When the researchers assessed the predictors of vaccine recommendation, they found that those in an academic vs. non-academic practice were more than twice as likely to recommend the vaccine. Those who considered professional organizations or professional conferences an important source of information were almost twice as likely to recommend the vaccine than those who did not consider these sources valuable.

"Most physicians are aware of the vaccine and what it prevents, but they may lack knowledge about issues of safety and how to address parental concerns. That may be making them reluctant to deliver the vaccine," said Kahn.

Although the study population was limited to Texas, Kahn said she believes that the views expressed by these physicians could be representative of physicians across the country. Nationally, vaccine rates for 11- to 12-year-old girls are between 6 percent and 25 percent.

"Physicians train all across the country using more or less the same curriculum, so as a group they tend to be fairly homogenous in their beliefs," said Kahn.

Sally Vernon, Ph.D., director of the Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences in the University of Texas School of Public Health, said this study points to the need to further educate physicians about the HPV vaccine.

"Physicians are the gatekeepers for this and the studies have shown that one of the most important predictors of health behavior is what your physician recommends," said Vernon, who is also an editorial board member of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Source: American Association for Cancer Research (news : web)

Explore further: Drug watchdog urges vigilance in cancer drug theft

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

One in four California adolescent girls has had HPV vaccine

Feb 17, 2009

Less than two years after the HPV vaccine was approved as a routine vaccination for girls aged 11 and older, one-quarter of California adolescent girls have started the series of shots that protect against human papillomavirus, ...

Medical societies: Adults need vaccines

Nov 19, 2008

The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) have released a joint statement on the importance of adult vaccination against an increasing number of vaccine-preventable diseases. ...

Recommended for you

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

4 hours ago

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Drug watchdog urges vigilance in cancer drug theft

8 hours ago

Europe's medicine watchdog urged doctors Thursday to be vigilant in administering the cancer drug Herceptin, vials of which had been stolen in Italy and tampered with before being sold back into the supply chain.

Pyridoxine-doxylamine drug safety data lacking

Apr 16, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—The most commonly prescribed drug for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness in their first trimester does not prevent birth defects even though drug safety data says it does, according to research ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vaccine
not rated yet Aug 12, 2009
I wonder if it's more about the headache of explaining to skeptical parents' concerns with the 'sexuality' issue vs. the doctor's own beliefs? A lot of controversy still surrounds this in some circles...

http://vaccinerev...troversy

More news stories

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...

Our brains are hardwired for language

A groundbreaking study published in PLOS ONE by Prof. Iris Berent of Northeastern University and researchers at Harvard Medical School shows the brains of individual speakers are sensitive to language univer ...

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...