Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine pediatrician characteristics and attitudes associated with intention to recommend two hypothetical human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.
Methods: A survey instrument mailed to a random sample of 1000 pediatricians assessed provider characteristics, HPV knowledge, and attitudes about HPV vaccination. Intention to administer each of two HPV vaccines types (a cervical cancer/genital wart vaccine and a cervical cancer vaccine) to girls and boys of three different ages (11, 14, and 17 years) was assessed. Linear mixed modeling for repeated measures and multivariable linear regression models were performed to identify variables associated with intention to recommend vaccination.
Results: The mean age of participants (n = 513) was 42 years and 57% were female. Participants were more likely to recommend vaccination to girls vs. boys and older vs. younger children, and were more likely to recommend a cervical cancer/genital wart vaccine than a cervical cancer vaccine (p < .0001). Variables independently associated with intention to recommend a cervical cancer/genital wart vaccine were: higher estimate of the percentage of sexually active adolescents in one's practice (beta .084, p = .002), number of young adolescents seen weekly (beta 1.300, p = .015), higher HPV knowledge (beta 1.079, p = .015), likelihood of following the recommendations of important individuals and organizations regarding immunization (beta .834, p = .001), and fewer perceived barriers to immunization (beta -.203, p = .001).
Conclusions: Vaccination initiatives directed toward pediatricians that focus on modifiable predictors of intention to vaccinate, such as HPV knowledge and attitudes about vaccination, may facilitate adherence to emerging national immunization guidelines.