HPV vaccine hesitancy: findings from a statewide survey of health care providers

J Pediatr Health Care. Nov-Dec 2014;28(6):541-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2014.05.003. Epub 2014 Jul 10.


Introduction: Health care provider recommendations are critical for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake. We sought to describe providers' HPV vaccine recommendation practices and explore their perceptions of parental hesitancy.

Method: A statewide sample (n = 575) of Minnesota health care providers (20% pediatricians, 47% family medicine physicians, and 33% nurse practitioners) completed our online survey in April 2013.

Results: Only 76% of health care providers reported routinely recommending HPV vaccine for girls ages 11 to 12 years, and far fewer (46%) did so for boys (p < .001). A majority of providers reported asking questions about parents' concerns (74%), but many lacked time to probe reasons (47%) or believed that they could not change parents' minds (55%). Higher levels of self-efficacy and outcome expectations were associated with routine recommendations (p < .05).

Discussion: Findings suggest that providers' perceptions of hesitancy may discourage them from routinely recommending the HPV vaccine. Improving providers' self-efficacy to address hesitancy may be important for improving vaccination rates.

Keywords: HPV vaccine; health care provider communication; vaccine hesitancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / psychology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaccination / psychology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines