Vaccine counseling: a content analysis of patient-physician discussions regarding human papilloma virus vaccine

Vaccine. 2011 Oct 6;29(43):7343-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.07.082. Epub 2011 Aug 10.


Objectives: (1) Describe content and character of patient-physician human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine discussions; (2) explore the relationship between selected characteristics and vaccine uptake.

Methods: Content analyses were conducted on 184 transcripts of audio-taped patient encounters with 11-26 year old female patients that occurred from August 2008 to March 2009 and contained mention of the HPV vaccine. Directed qualitative content analysis sought to identify key themes with a focus on elements related to communication. Quantitative content analysis included determination of associations between selected factors (e.g., physician specialty, communication variables, patient age) and vaccination rates.

Results: Communication themes identified though qualitative content analysis demonstrated potential opportunities for improvement in vaccine communication were identified. Quantitative content analysis showed twenty-eight percent of eligible patients received HPV vaccine and on average these patients were younger (17.0 vs. 19.6 years). The youngest and oldest patients were vaccinated less frequently.

Conclusions: Targeting age groups with lower vaccination rates may increase overall vaccine uptake. Additional quantitative analyses of patient-physician discussions about vaccine may generate further recommendations regarding optimal communication strategies for HPV vaccine counseling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine Quadrivalent, Types 6, 11, 16, 18
  • Humans
  • Papillomavirus Infections / immunology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines* / administration & dosage
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Vaccination


  • Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine Quadrivalent, Types 6, 11, 16, 18
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines