Parent-provider communication of hpv vaccine hesitancy

Laura A. Shay, Austin S. Baldwin, Andrea C. Betts, Emily G. Marks, Robin T. Higashi, Richard L. Street, Donna Persaud, Jasmin A. Tiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To prevent human papillomavirus (HPV)–related cancers, providers must effectively communicate with HPV vaccine–hesitant parents. Here, we developed a typology characterizing parent-provider communication around HPV vaccine hesitancy. METHODS: We audio-recorded 43 visits with unvaccinated adolescents at 6 pediatric clinics in Dallas, Texas in which parents were undecided about HPV vaccination. We qualitatively coded how parents verbally expressed hesitancy (assertive response, asking a question, or expressing concern) and whether providers responded with acquiescence (agree to defer vaccination) and/or persistence (continue discussion). We described the frequency of parent and provider communication codes and same-day vaccination. RESULTS: Among the 43 visits, 37 parents expressed hesitancy ?1 times in many ways. Assertive responses were most common (27 visits), followed by questions (16 visits), and concerns (12 visits). When the first expression of hesitancy was a question or concern, 71% and 75% of adolescents, respectively, received same-day vaccinations, whereas 33% of adolescents who received an initial assertive response were vaccinated. Providers responded with only persistence in 18 visits, a mix of acquiescence and persistence in 13 visits, and only acquiescence in 6 visits. When providers only used persistence, 17 of 18 adolescents were vaccinated; when providers responded with only acquiescence, no adolescents received the vaccine. CONCLUSIONS: Our exploratory analysis reveals that providers engaging hesitant parents and addressing their concerns can lead to same-day HPV vaccination. Data reveal that even parents making assertive statements are amenable to influence by providers. Our findings reveal an important missed opportunity when providers simply acquiesce to parental hesitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20172312
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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