Doctors not strongly encouraging HPV vaccine to girls of certain age

Aug 02, 2010

The vast majority of pediatricians and family physicians nationally are offering the human papillomavirus (also called HPV) vaccine, though fewer physicians are strongly encouraging it for 11- to 12-year-old girls as recommended by national guidelines, according to a survey in the September issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Funded by the , this is the first study to look at current HPV vaccination practices of U.S. physicians since the three-dose vaccine series was licensed in 2006 and widely available.

Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and The Children's Hospital in Denver surveyed 429 pediatricians and 419 family physicians in early 2008 from throughout the U.S., and found that 98 percent of pediatricians and 88 percent of family physicians reported that was being administered to their female patients.

"HPV vaccination is our best chance at preventing , so it's reassuring doctors are using it. However, vaccination should ideally begin at 11 years of age, so that young women complete the 3-dose series and are protected" said study lead author Matthew F. Daley, MD, a pediatrician and a researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research in Denver, Colorado.

The goal of the HPV vaccine is to prevent HPV infections and ultimately reduce the rates of cervical cancer. Virtually all cervical cancer is caused by HPV infections, and caused by HPV. Approximately 20 million people in the United States are currently infected with genital . There are many different HPV strains, and current HPV vaccines protect against two HPV strains that cause roughly 70% of cervical cancer cases. The vaccination is recommended currently for 11- to 12-year-old girls, with 'catch-up' vaccinations for 13- to 26-year-female patients who have not been vaccinated.

This survey also uncovered a range of attitudes among physicians related to administering the HPV vaccine to female adolescents. Forty two percent of pediatricians and 54 percent of family physicians considered it necessary to discuss sexuality before recommending HPV vaccine, though few physicians thought that vaccination would encourage earlier or riskier sexual behavior among teens. However, almost half of the physicians reported that parents were concerned about this issue.

Parent opposition to HPV vaccination for moral or religious reasons was perceived as definitely or somewhat a barrier by 23 percent of pediatricians and 33 percent of family physicians. Most surveyed physicians were not using active strategies (such as sending reminders) to ensure that patients who started HPV vaccination received all three doses, which may further delay the age which patients are fully immunized.

Explore further: Study identifies enzymes that help fix cancer-causing DNA defects

Provided by University of Colorado Denver

not rated yet
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, ...

HPV vaccination more likely if mothers approve

Apr 12, 2010

College women were more likely to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) if their mothers communicated with them about sex and if they thought their mothers would approve of their getting vaccinated, according to ...

New HPV vaccine under study

Nov 19, 2007

A new vaccine against nine of the most harmful strains of human papillomavirus is under study at the Medical College of Georgia.

Recommended for you

Cancer patients need anxiety, depression screening

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—It is important to recognize and treat anxiety or depression among cancer patients, according to a clinical guideline published online April 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Pre-HPV vaccine, most oropharyngeal cancers HPV+

13 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Most oropharyngeal cancers in the United States diagnosed between 1995 and 2005 were positive for human papillomavirus (HPV), specifically HPV 16 or 18, according to a study published in the May issue of the ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Computer screening could help patients and healthcare

A trial of a new patient care model, which uses over-the-phone consultations and computers to help better understand the needs of the patient, has begun this week, led by researchers at the University of Adelaide.

In the 'slime jungle' height matters

(Phys.org) —In communities of microbes, akin to 'slime jungles', cells evolve not just to grow faster than their rivals but also to push themselves to the surface of colonies where they gain the best access ...

Robot scouts rooms people can't enter

(Phys.org) —Firefighters, police officers and military personnel are often required to enter rooms with little information about what dangers might lie behind the door. A group of engineering students at ...

New alfalfa variety resists ravenous local pest

(Phys.org) —Cornell plant breeders have released a new alfalfa variety with some resistance against the alfalfa snout beetle, which has ravaged alfalfa fields in nine northern New York counties and across ...