No change in physician discussions with patients about the human papillomavirus vaccine between 2007 and 2013

Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, Julia López, Shahida Rice, Nhial Tutlam, Stephanie Tokarz, Mark A. Varvares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was approved for preventing some oncogenic strains of the HPV in 2006. Predictors of HPV vaccine uptake include physicians' conversations with patients and the patients' race; particularly among racial minorities, African-Americans are less likely to complete required doses. Purpose: To analyze whether there were differences in the percentage of participants who reported they ever had a discussion with a provider about the HPV vaccine in 2007 and 2013; and to analyze physicians' discussions based on patients' race. Methods: Adults within the vaccination age of 18-26 years were identified from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 2007 (n= 687) and 2013 (n= 496) databases. A logistic regression generated odds ratios between races for each of the two years and a z-test compared the two odds ratios on the natural log scale. Results: There was only a 3% increase in conversations about the HPV vaccine between 2007 and 2013, but no significant differences based on race in 2007 (p= 0.16) or 2013 (p= 0.64). In 2007, physicians had more than 2.5 greater odds of having discussed the HPV vaccine with their African-American patients than Caucasian patients while being 1.24 times more likely to do so in 2013. These ratios were not significantly different from each other (z= 0.97; p= 0.17). Conclusions: After almost a decade since the HPV vaccine was approved, there have been no significant changes in the amount of conversations physicians have with patients about the vaccine. It is important that physicians' encounter with patients be seen as an opportunity to encourage HPV vaccine uptake, particularly among racial minorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cancer Policy
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • HPV vaccines
  • HPV-associated cancers
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Physician-patient discussions
  • Racial disparities
  • Vaccination


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