Association of physicians perceived barriers with human papillomavirus vaccination initiation

Preventive Medicine
Volume 105, Pages 1-412 (December 2017)

Original Research Article
Association of physicians perceived barriers with human papillomavirus vaccination initiation
Original Research Article
Pages 219-225
Albert J. Farias, Lara S. Savas, Maria E. Fernandez, Sharon P. Coan, Ross Shegog, C. Mary Healy, Erica Lipizzi, Sally W. Vernon
Physician recommendation is a strong predictor of vaccine uptake, however their perceived barriers may prevent vaccination. Therefore, we determined the association between physicians’ perceived barriers to HPV vaccination and vaccination initiation.
We surveyed pediatricians in a large network of clinics in Houston, Texas to assess their perceived barriers to vaccinating adolescents. We combined survey data with electronic medical records to determine HPV vaccination initiation over a 12-month study period (July 2014–June 2015). Patients were 11–18 year olds who had not begun the vaccination series, had a physician visit during the study period, and whose physician completed the survey. We conducted a multilevel model clustered by physician controlling for patient and physician demographics to calculate the association between physician-reported barriers and HPV vaccination initiation.
Among 36,827 patients seen by 134 pediatricians, 18.6% initiated HPV vaccination. The relative risk of initiating HPV vaccination were lower for patients whose physician reported concerns about HPV vaccine safety (RR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.58–0.97), efficacy (RR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.54–0.99), and the financial burden of the vaccine on patients (RR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.58–0.88). After controlling for patient and physician characteristics, physician concern about the financial burden on patients was significantly associated with lower relative risk of initiating HPV vaccination (RR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.64–0.90).
In this large study we observed that physician-reported barriers are associated with HPV vaccination initiation. Interventions should be implemented to educate physicians on vaccine safety, efficacy, and that there is no patient cost for CDC-recommended vaccines.