HPV Vaccination Recommendation Practices among Adolescent Health Care Providers in 5 Countries

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2018 Dec;31(6):575-582.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2018.06.010. Epub 2018 Jul 12.


Study objective: To assess adolescent health care providers' recommendations for, and attitudes towards human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in 5 countries.

Design: In-depth interviews of adolescent health care providers, 2013-2014.

Setting: Five countries where HPV vaccination is at various stages of implementation into national programs: Argentina, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, and Spain.

Participants: Adolescent health care providers (N = 151) who had administered or overseen provision of adolescent vaccinations (N = Argentina: 30, Malaysia: 30, South Africa: 31, South Korea: 30, Spain: 30).

Main outcome measures: Frequency of HPV vaccination recommendation, reasons providers do not always recommend the vaccine and facilitators to doing so, comfort level with recommending the vaccine, reasons for any discomfort, and positive and negative aspects of HPV vaccination.

Results: Over half of providers 82/151 (54%) recommend HPV vaccination always or most of the time (range: 20% in Malaysia to 90% in Argentina). Most providers 112/151 (74%) said they were comfortable recommending HPV vaccination, although South Korea was an outlier 10/30 (33%). Providers cited protection against cervical cancer 124/151 (83%) and genital warts 56/151 (37%) as benefits of HPV vaccination. When asked about the problems with HPV vaccination, providers mentioned high cost 75/151 (50% overall; range: 26% in South Africa to 77% in South Korea) and vaccination safety 28/151 (19%; range: 7% in South Africa to 33% in Spain). Free, low-cost, or publicly available vaccination 59/151 (39%), and additional data on vaccination safety 52/151 (34%) and efficacy 43/151 (28%) were the most commonly cited facilitators of health provider vaccination recommendation.

Conclusion: Interventions to increase HPV vaccination should consider a country's specific provider concerns, such as reducing cost and providing information on vaccination safety and efficacy.

Keywords: Cervical cancer; HPV-associated cancers; Health care provider recommendation; Human papilloma virus; Vaccination.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Argentina
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / statistics & numerical data
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / psychology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Regional Health Planning
  • Republic of Korea
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Vaccination / psychology*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines