The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has the potential to decrease the incidence of several cancers that affect women and men. Despite recommendations by the medical and public health community, and the incorporation of the vaccine into the adolescent immunization schedule, uptake of the vaccine remains well below target goals. To understand potential physician barriers to recommendation and provision of the vaccine, a cross-sectional survey was administered to Hawai'i pediatricians and family physicians from July 2012 to September 2012 on their attitudes, practices, and perceived barriers regarding HPV vaccination. Surveys were mailed to 465 members of the local pediatrics and family medicine professional chapters, and 87 responses were received for a response rate of 19%. After excluding 14 responses, 73 surveys were included in the analysis. Although almost all of the respondents reported stocking and administering the HPV vaccine in their offices, only 71% reported strongly recommending the HPV vaccine to girls 11-12 years, and only 57% strongly recommend the vaccine to boys 11-12 years old. Lack of insurance coverage and other financial considerations were barriers to provision of the vaccine by physicians. Physicians who felt it is necessary to discuss sexuality with patients prior to recommending the vaccine were significantly less likely to strongly recommend the vaccine to boys 11-12 years old. Public health efforts should focus on addressing the financial barriers and encouraging physicians to recommend the HPV vaccine according to the guidelines.
Keywords: HPV; HPV vaccine; Hawai‘i; Human papillomavirus; attitudes; practices; providers.