Reducing Missed Opportunities for Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in School-Based Health Centers: Impact of an Intervention

Acad Pediatr. Nov-Dec 2020;20(8):1124-1132. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2020.04.002. Epub 2020 Apr 12.


Objective: Human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization rates among US adolescents are low. Missed opportunities (MOs) for HPV vaccination are common. School-based health centers (SBHCs) have potential to boost HPV vaccination, but their role in addressing MOs has not been examined.

Methods: We implemented a multicomponent intervention, consisting of 3 immunization process workflow modifications combined with provider performance feedback, in 2 Los Angeles area SBHCs and conducted a pre/post evaluation of MOs. Our primary outcome was SBHC-based MOs for HPV vaccination during all visits, including visits for confidential reproductive health care (ie, confidential visits). Secondary outcomes were MOs for meningococcal (MenACWY) and influenza vaccination during visits for nonconfidential care.

Results: MOs for HPV vaccination decreased during all visit types from the baseline to the intervention period (82.3% to 46.1%; adjusted risk ratio [RR] = 0.558, P < .0001). The rate decrease appeared to be greater during physical examination visits than confidential visits (83.4% to 31.6% vs 98.7% to 70.4%, respectively). MOs for MenACWY (74.5% to 35.0%; adjusted RR = 0.47, P < .0001) and influenza (86.7% to 69.3%; adjusted RR = 0.792, P < .0001) vaccination also decreased during nonconfidential visits. Vaccine refusal was the most frequently documented reason for HPV vaccine MOs during both physical examination and confidential visits.

Conclusions: A pragmatic, multicomponent SBHC intervention reduced MOs for HPV vaccination during all visit types. MOs for MenACWY and influenza vaccination also decreased during nonconfidential visits. Findings suggest that practice-level improvements in SBHCs can improve delivery of HPV and other adolescent vaccines.

Keywords: human papillomavirus vaccination; missed opportunity; school-based health center.

Publication types

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