Background Physician recommendation is a key predictor of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake. Understanding factors associated with recommendation is important for efforts to increase current suboptimal vaccine uptake. Purpose This study aimed to examine physician recommendations to vaccinate female patients aged 11-26 years, in 2009 and 2011, at 3 and 5 years postvaccine licensure, respectively. A second aim was to identify trends in factors associated with vaccine recommendation for ages 11 and 12 years. Methods Nationally representative samples of physicians practicing family medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology were randomly selected from the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile (n=1538 in 2009, n=1541 in 2011). A mailed survey asked physicians about patient and clinical practice characteristics; immunization support; and frequency of HPV vaccine recommendation ("always" ≥75% of the time vs other). Analyses were conducted in 2012. Results Completed surveys were received from 1013 eligible physicians (68% response rate) in 2009 and 928 (63%) in 2011. The proportion of physicians who reported always recommending HPV vaccine increased significantly from 2009 to 2011 for patients aged 11 or 12 years (35% vs 40%, respectively; p=0.03), but not for patients aged 13-17 years (53% vs 55%; p=0.28) or 18-26 years (50% vs 52%; p=0.52). Physician specialty, age, and perceived issues/barriers to vaccination were associated with vaccine recommendation for patients aged 11 or 12 in both years. Conclusions Results suggest a modest increase in recommendations for HPV vaccination of girls aged 11 or 12 years over a 2-year period; however, recommendations remain suboptimal for all age groups despite national recommendations for universal immunization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health