Issues in discussing HPV vaccination

January 01, 0001

Issues in discussing HPV vaccination

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been at times controversial, given the sexually transmitted nature of the virus and its link to cervical cancer. Nonetheless, some countries, such as the UK, have established immunization programs. These British researchers sought to explore GPs' and practice nurses' views of HPV vaccination using qualitative semi-structured interviews.

The researchers report: "The prevailing theme of new communication challenges was identified and these were connected to the activities of (i) explaining, (ii) consenting and (iii) managing conflicts between parents and their children with respect to vaccination decisions. The importance of decisions being fully informed was emphasized and concern was expressed about the adequacy of the information provided to girls and their parents in schools. Whether consent would be granted by the parent or by the child and how potential disagreements should be managed remained ambiguous. Participants considered it appropriate to offer the vaccine without parental consent if other criteria, such as an assessment of competency, were met."

The authors concluded: "Success of the national immunization programme will depend on overcoming the challenges of providing explanations to ensure that individuals understand the potential benefits of HPV vaccination. Primary care can play an important role, but this study suggests there are fundamental issues that need further clarification."

This study highlights some of the particular communication challenges dealing with the administering the HPV vaccine.

For the full abstract, click here.

Family Practice 27(2):224-229, April 2010
© 2010 Brown et al.
Communication challenges of HPV vaccination. Elizabeth C F Brown, Paul Little and Geraldine M Leydon. Correspondence to Elizabeth C F Brown: [email protected]

Category: HSR. Health Services Research. Keywords: human pappilomavirus HPV, vaccination, explanation, conflicts, consent, qualitative research, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 6 April 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.