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Health providers opinions on the utility of the HPV vaccination-Are guidelines being Followed?

Douglas Sherlock, Andrew L Atkinson, Mark G Martens.

Background: For the first time in womanís health we are able to prevent cervical cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). However, the opinions of healthcare providers are easily translated into practice of distribution of the HPV vaccination. Here, we identify important areas of bias that have the potential to limit distribution to indicated populations.

Aims & Objective: We sought to evaluate medical providerís knowledge and personal beliefs regarding the indication for the HPV vaccination through an 8-question survey.

Material and Methods: The survey was distributed to womenís healthcare providers at a series of continuing medical education (CME) conferences from 2011-2012. Each question was structured to reveal potential bias in the guideline-based distribution of the vaccination.

Results: We identified four patient populations that met the criteria for vaccination that had a low level of recommendation (50-82%). Overall, there were high levels of recommendation for populations that were before or at sexual debut (95-99%). Two groups identified as having a low level of recommendation included sexually active female patients with documented cervical dysplasia (76-82%). Other groups with low levels of recommendation included a married woman within the recommended 12-26 age range (60%) and a male patient with exposure to genital warts (50%).

Conclusion: There is clear evidence that healthcare providers have a significant impact on acceptance and motivation of patients receiving the HPV vaccination. This study shows biases and lack of knowledge of the guidelines for HPV vaccine use impact recommendations of healthcare providers providing the vaccine to their patients.

Key words: Human Papilloma Virus; Vaccination; Acceptance; Guidelines

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