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Influence of patient's relationship status and HPV history on physicians’ decisions to recommend HPV vaccination

Zimet, Gregory D., Stupiansky, Nathan W., Weiss, Thomas W., Rosenthal, Susan L., Good, Margaret B., Vichnin, Michelle D.
Vaccine 2011 v.29 no.3 pp. 378-381
databases, patients, physicians, prioritization, risk, vaccination, vaccines, women, United States
This study asked whether physicians would prioritize HPV vaccination on the basis of a young woman's relationship status and HPV history (i.e., abnormal Pap test, HPV infection or HPV-related disease). Eight hundred physicians identified as HPV vaccinators in a US claims database were surveyed. Prioritization was assessed on a 0–10 rating scale (from extremely low to extremely high priority). Physicians gave lower priority to vaccinating patients who were married or in a long-term monogamous relationship, with mean (SD) scores of 5.76 (2.82) and 6.80 (2.48), respectively, than for patients who were single and either dating or not dating, with mean (SD) scores of 9.8 (0.68) and 9.22 (1.61), respectively; p<.0001 for all pair-wise comparisons. Physicians did not differentially prioritize vaccination on the basis of previous HPV-related disease or abnormal Pap test. Despite epidemiologic evidence that women in long-term relationships remain at risk for HPV infection, physicians gave them lower priority for vaccination.