Community collaboration fails to boost parental awareness on HPV vaccination during primary care visits


Despite efforts to enhance communication between clinics and community groups, a study finds no significant improvement in parental knowledge and attitudes toward HPV vaccination during children's primary care visits, highlighting the persistent challenge of low vaccine uptake in the United States.

Community collaboration fails to boost parental awareness on HPV vaccination during primary care visits | Image Credit: © Alernon77 - © Alernon77 -

Community collaboration fails to boost parental awareness on HPV vaccination during primary care visits | Image Credit: © Alernon77 - © Alernon77 -

A version of this article originally appeared on Contemporary OB/GYN.

A recent study published in the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health revealed that a child's visit to a primary care provider does not correlate with parents' knowledge and attitudes toward the human papillomavirus (HPV).


  1. The study reveals that visits to a child's primary care provider do not contribute significantly to parents' knowledge and attitudes regarding the human papillomavirus (HPV).
  2. Despite available and effective HPV vaccines since 2006, the study indicates persistently low vaccination rates, with only 61.4% of U.S. women and 56% of U.S. men fully vaccinated in 2020.
  3. Parents' concerns about vaccine safety and a perception of the vaccine as unnecessary continue to be significant barriers to HPV vaccination, emphasizing the need for strategies to address these attitudes.
  4. The Rural Adolescent Vaccine Enterprise (RAVE) study, which involved collaboration between clinics and community groups, did not show a substantial impact on parental knowledge and attitudes toward HPV vaccination during the primary care visits.
  5. The study suggests a need for additional research to explore how vaccines, particularly the HPV vaccine, are discussed and promoted during both wellness and illness-focused primary care visits to effectively address low vaccination rates.

Despite HPV being the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection in the United States, affecting nearly 14 million individuals and leading to approximately 46,000 new cases of HPV-related cancers each year, there seems to be a gap in awareness and vaccine uptake.

Although vaccines to prevent HPV have been available since 2006, their effectiveness is highest when administered to individuals aged 9 to 12 years. Shockingly, only 61.4% of U.S. women and 56% of U.S. men were fully vaccinated against HPV in 2020, according to the National Immunization Survey.

Parents' attitudes play a crucial role in vaccine uptake, often citing safety concerns or deeming the vaccine unnecessary as reasons to avoid vaccinating their children. This underscores the need for strategies to alter parental perceptions and knowledge regarding HPV vaccination.

In an effort to assess how collaboration between clinics and community groups could influence parental attitudes and knowledge about HPV vaccination, researchers conducted the Rural Adolescent Vaccine Enterprise (RAVE) study. This initiative involved primary care clinicians, community partners, and health care researchers working together to enhance HPV vaccination rates over an 18-month period, utilizing quality improvement methodologies.

The intervention incorporated a partnership between primary care clinics and a practice care facilitator. Strategies implemented during the study included identifying eligible patients for vaccination, sending reminders for follow-up vaccination visits, and enhancing communication between healthcare providers and parents regarding vaccination.

During the final 12 months of the intervention, clinics also launched a social media campaign, collaborating with community-based entities such as libraries, coffee shops, schools, and local public health departments.

To evaluate the impact of these interventions, a 21-item survey was administered within 48 hours of a health care visit, focusing on the reason for the visit, discussions about the HPV vaccine, parental information-seeking behavior, and knowledge and attitudes. The study involved 27 RAVE clinics, with 72 participants completing the survey, including 43 from intervention clinics and 29 controls.

The participants, with an average age of 13.4 years, were predominantly female (56.9%), and the majority of health care visits were related to injury, sports physicals, illness, or well-child visits.

The results indicated that discussions about HPV and the HPV vaccine occurred in 54.3% of the reported health care visits. Surprisingly, 31.3% of patients had recently learned about HPV, HPV risks, and the HPV vaccine before their visit. A high percentage (83.1%) of patients reported being knowledgeable about HPV-related cancers, and 79.2% considered or had initiated/completed the HPV vaccine for their children.

Demographic characteristics and health care visit details did not significantly differ in Vaccination Confidence Scale scores between the intervention and control groups, except for Hispanic patients in the intervention group, who showed scores ranging from 6.7 to 11. In the control group, vaccine confidence scores ranged from 5.6 among fathers to 10 among mothers, non-Hispanic White individuals, and individuals with a college degree.

Notably, the only divergence in Vaccination Confidence scores between groups was observed for the statement: "If I do not vaccinate my older child or teenager, he/she may get a disease such as meningitis or human papilloma virus and cause other teenagers or adults to also get the disease." The score was 8 in the intervention group and 9.9 in the control group.

Despite higher-than-expected knowledge about HPV-related cancers, the study did not establish a clear association between the intervention and participant knowledge. Consequently, researchers recommended further investigation into how vaccines are discussed during wellness and illness health care visits.

This article was written with the help of ChatGPT.

Related Videos
Allison Scott, DNP, CPNP-PC, IBCLC
Natasha Hoyte, MPH, CPNP-PC
Reducing HIV reservoirs in neonates with very early antiretroviral therapy | Deborah Persaud, MD
Deborah Persaud, MD
Image Credit:
Related Content
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.