To address low human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have launched national campaigns encouraging physicians to deliver strong HPV vaccine recommendations. We surveyed family physicians and pediatricians to examine the impact of these efforts on physicians' recommendation practices.
A national sample of family physicians and pediatricians (n = 776) completed our online survey in 2014. The survey assessed reach, content, and influence of AAFP and AAP communications about HPV vaccination. The survey also assessed quality of physicians' communication practices for recommending HPV vaccination.
Forty-seven percent of family physicians reported receiving information on HPV vaccination from AAFP, whereas 62% of pediatricians reported receiving information from AAP. Among physicians reached by AAFP or AAP, most reported receiving the message to give strong recommendations to adolescent boys (71%) and girls (78%). Although receiving information was not associated with HPV vaccine recommendation quality, receiving the message to give strong recommendations correlated with delivering higher-quality recommendations for boys (odds ratio, 4.19, 95% confidence interval, 2.64-6.64) and girls (odds ratio, 3.15, 95% confidence interval, 1.91-5.18). Over half of physicians reported improving their HPV vaccine communication after receiving information from AAFP (69%) or AAP (53%).
Our findings suggest that it is important for AAFP and AAP to communicate the need for strong HPV vaccine recommendations. Given that many physicians reported improving their recommendation practices, professional organizations stand to contribute to increasing HPV vaccination coverage, but they will likely need to increase the intensity of quality improvement efforts to do so.