Healthcare providers' beliefs and attitudes regarding risk compensation following HPV vaccination

Monica L. Kasting, Shannon Wilson, Brian E. Dixon, Stephen M. Downs, Amit Kulkarni, Gregory D. Zimet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: Provider recommendation is a significant predictor of HPV vaccine uptake. Prior research suggests that concerns regarding risk compensation could cause some providers to hesitate recommending the HPV vaccine. Methods: During 15-30 min semi-structured interviews in early 2015, 22 U.S. pediatric providers were asked about their beliefs regarding sexual risk compensation and cervical cancer screening following HPV vaccination. Providers were asked if these beliefs result in reservations recommending the vaccine. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using inductive content analysis. Results: None of the providers believed the HPV vaccine would result in risky sexual behavior. Half indicated it was better to start vaccination early, before sexual activity was a worry. Others noted that patients' risky behavior decisions happen independently of vaccination. When providers were asked if they were concerned about decreased cervical cancer screening, half said they did not know and some stated they had never thought about it before. The main themes addressed were the significant time lapse between vaccination and screening and that women tend to get over-screened as opposed to under-screened. Conclusion: Providers were generally in favor of HPV vaccination and do not perceive risk compensation as a barrier to HPV recommendation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalPapillomavirus Research
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Behavior
  • Cervical cancer screening
  • Healthcare provider
  • Human Papillomavirus vaccination
  • Risk compensation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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