Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 332–339 | Cite as

Clinician and Parent Perspectives on Educational Needs for Increasing Adolescent HPV Vaccination

  • Christy A. Widman
  • Elisa M. Rodriguez
  • Frances Saad-Harfouche
  • Annamaria Masucci Twarozek
  • Deborah O. Erwin
  • Martin C. MahoneyEmail author


Human papillomavirus (HPV)-related morbidity and mortality remain a significant public health burden despite the availability of HPV vaccines for cancer prevention. We engaged clinicians and parents to identify barriers and opportunities related to adolescent HPV vaccination within a focused geographic region. This mixed-method study design used an interviewer-administered semi-structured interview with clinicians (n = 52) and a written self-administered survey with similar items completed by parents (n = 54). Items focused on experiences, opinions, and ideas about HPV vaccine utilization in the clinical setting, family, and patient perceptions about HPV vaccination and potential future efforts to increase vaccine utilization. Quantitative items were analyzed using descriptive statistics, while qualitative content was analyzed thematically. Suggested solutions for achieving higher rates of HPV vaccination noted by clinicians included public health education, the removal of stigma associated with vaccines, media endorsements, and targeting parents as the primary focus of educational messages. Parents expressed the need for more information about HPV-related disease, HPV vaccines, vaccine safety, sexual concerns, and countering misinformation on social media. Results from this mixed-method study affirm that educational campaigns targeting both health care professionals and parents represent a key facilitator for promoting HPV vaccination; disease burden and cancer prevention emerged as key themes for this messaging.


Human papillomavirus Vaccination Adolescents Clinician education Community education 



This study was supported in part by Roswell Park Cancer Institute and National Cancer Institute (NCI) grants 3P30CA01605, 3P30CA016056-37S4, and U54CA153598. Portions of this manuscript were included as a poster presentation and received a second-place award among research posters at the 2015 International Cancer Education Conference that took place on October 21–23, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona. The authors would also like to acknowledge the assistance of Sue Lindner in transcribing the audiotapes from these structured interviews and Alvie Ashan for the qualitative data entry.


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christy A. Widman
    • 1
  • Elisa M. Rodriguez
    • 1
  • Frances Saad-Harfouche
    • 1
  • Annamaria Masucci Twarozek
    • 2
  • Deborah O. Erwin
    • 1
  • Martin C. Mahoney
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Cancer Prevention and ControlRoswell Park Cancer InstituteBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health BehaviorRoswell Park Cancer InstituteBuffaloUSA

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