Provider communication and HPV vaccination: The impact of recommendation quality

Melissa B. Gilkey, William A. Calo, Jennifer L. Moss, Parth D. Shah, Macary W. Marciniak, Noel T. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

296 Scopus citations


Background: Receiving a healthcare provider's recommendation is a strong predictor of HPV vaccination, but little is known empirically about which types of recommendation are most influential. Thus, we sought to investigate the relationship between recommendation quality and HPV vaccination among U.S. adolescents. Methods: In 2014, we conducted a national, online survey of 1495 parents of 11-17-year-old adolescents. Parents reported whether providers endorsed HPV vaccination strongly, encouraged same-day vaccination, and discussed cancer prevention. Using an index of these quality indicators, we categorized parents as having received no, low-quality, or high-quality recommendations for HPV vaccination. Separate multivariable logistic regression models assessed associations between recommendation quality and HPV vaccine initiation (≥1 dose), follow through (doses, among initiators), refusal, and delay. Results: Almost half (48%) of parents reported no provider recommendation for HPV vaccination, while 16% received low-quality recommendations and 36% received high-quality recommendations. Compared to no recommendation, high-quality recommendations were associated with over nine times the odds of HPV vaccine initiation (23% vs. 74%, OR = 9.31, 95% CI, 7.10-12.22) and over three times the odds of follow through (17% vs. 44%, OR = 3.82, 95% CI, 2.39-6.11). Low-quality recommendations were more modestly associated with initiation (OR = 4.13, 95% CI, 2.99-5.70), but not follow through. Parents who received high- versus low-quality recommendations less often reported HPV vaccine refusal or delay. Conclusions: High-quality recommendations were strongly associated with HPV vaccination behavior, but only about one-third of parents received them. Interventions are needed to improve not only whether, but how providers recommend HPV vaccination for adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1187-1192
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 24 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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