Human Papillomavirus Vaccination of Males: Attitudes and Perceptions of Physicians Who Vaccinate Females

Thomas W. Weiss, Gregory D. Zimet, Susan L. Rosenthal, Susan K. Brenneman, Jonathan D. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: We assessed U.S. physicians' attitudes and perceptions regarding potential human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination of males. Methods: We surveyed a random sample of 2,714 pediatricians and family practitioners identified in administrative claims of a U.S. health plan as HPV vaccinators of females; 595 pediatricians and 499 family practitioners participated. Results: Most physicians would recommend HPV vaccination to males aged 11-12 (63.9%), 13-18 (93.4%), and 19-26 (92.7%) years. Physicians agreed that males should be vaccinated to prevent them from getting genital and anal warts (52.9% strongly and 36.0% somewhat) and to protect females from cervical cancer (75.3% strongly and 20.8% somewhat). Physicians agreed that an HPV vaccine recommendation for males would increase opportunities to discuss sexual health with adolescent male patients (58.7% strongly, 35.3% somewhat). Most did not strongly agree (15.4% strongly, 45.4% somewhat) that parents of adolescent male patients would be interested in HPV vaccination for males, that a gender-neutral HPV vaccine recommendation would increase acceptance by adolescent females and their parents (19.6% strongly, 42.0% somewhat), or that a gender-neutral recommendation would improve current female vaccination rates (10.4% strongly, 26.0% somewhat). Conclusions: Physicians who currently vaccinate females against HPV supported the concept of vaccinating males for its benefits for both sexes. They agreed that a gender-neutral HPV vaccination recommendation would be appropriate with regard to public health and believed that it would increase opportunities for sexual health discussions, but were less sure that such a recommendation would change patient or parental attitudes toward HPV vaccination or improve current HPV vaccination efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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