Providers' attitude toward vaccinating young males against HPV may challenge new recommendations

March 13, 2012, Boston University Medical Center

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that a health care provider's attitude toward male human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination may influence the implementation of new guidelines. They believe targeted provider education on the benefits of HPV vaccination for male patients, specifically the association of HPV with certain cancers in men, may be important for achieving vaccination goals. These findings appear on-line in the American Journal of Men's Health.

HPV infects approximately 20 million men and women in the United States each year. It can cause anal, penile and oropharyngeal cancers in men. Approximately 7,000 HPV-associated cancers are diagnosed in men annually. Last year, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issued a revised statement recommending universal vaccination of 11- to 12-year-old males with catch-up vaccinations for males age13 to 21. The revised, stronger recommendation came in response to new data showing that vaccination could effectively prevent both and anal cancer precursors and epidemiologic data showing the increasing importance of HPV as a causal factor for head and neck cancers.

Between 2009 and 2010 BUSM researchers assessed pediatric and family medicine providers' attitudes and behaviors around HPV vaccinations. The providers included 23 physicians and eight from four community health centers in the Boston area that serve primarily low-income, minority and non-English-speaking populations. Although 24 of 31 (77 percent) of the providers favored vaccinating males, only three (12 percent) offered vaccination. Providers who did not offer vaccination felt that parents would not be interested in vaccinating sons to prevent in women and were largely unaware of serious HPV-related disease in males.

"Although we believe the new recommendations will likely cause some improvement in HPV vaccination levels for males, their adoption may remain slow if physicians are unaware of the rationale behind the strengthened recommendations," explained lead author Rebecca B. Perkins, MD, MSc., assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at BUSM.

According to Perkins, in light of the new recommendations promoting universal HPV vaccination for males, understanding provider attitudes and actions with regard to this vaccine gains increasing importance. "Although prior research indicated that most physicians supported HPV vaccination for males, research with both parents and providers raised concerns that parents may be more reluctant to vaccinate sons than daughters," she added.

Explore further: Single-sex vaccination is most effective at reducing HPV infection

Related Stories

Single-sex vaccination is most effective at reducing HPV infection

December 20, 2011
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Johannes Bogaards of VU University, the Netherlands and colleagues use mathematical models to investigate whether vaccinating females only, males only, or both sexes is the best way to achieve ...

Lack of clarity about HPV vaccine and the need for cervical cancer screening

July 7, 2011
The research will be presented today at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Academic Primary Care, hosted this year by the Academic Unit of Primary Health Care, University of Bristol.

Recommended for you

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

Researchers develop swallowable test to detect pre-cancerous Barrett's esophagus

January 17, 2018
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus that offers promise ...

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.