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.
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