PHILADELPHIA — HPV vaccine rates in 2015 were below the Healthy People 2020 target of 80%, suggesting an opportunity for nurse practitioners to help improve these numbers, according to a presenter here at the annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
“[A] health care provider recommendation strongly influences parental intention and decision making,” Brenda Cassidy, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC, assistant professor, health promotion and development, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, and colleagues wrote in their poster.
Although the HPV vaccine provides 100% protection against HPV-related cancers when given before coital debut, the vaccine series was completed in only 41.9% in females and 28.1% of males in 2015, researchers added.
To ascertain some of the barriers and facilitators that could be contributing to the low numbers, Cassidy and colleagues analyzed 86 survey responses from nurse practitioners in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Of these pilot study participants, 71% were older than 40 years old, 66% had 10 years or more experience in the workforce and 40% practiced in primary care.
The researchers found that barriers that may inhibit HPV vaccine administration included parents’ concerns about their child’s safety, parents’ own personal belief system, and that some were not aware of the HPV vaccine for boys.
“Nurse practitioners can reduce [these] barriers,” Cassidy and colleagues wrote in the poster, adding that some of the ways include “[Recommending] the vaccine as an effective measure of cancer prevention, emphasiz[ing] primary prevention when a preteen has strong immunogenic response … [and] help[ing] parents identify ways to discuss sexuality when ready.”
AAFP and AAP are among the professional medical organizations that recommend and endorse use of the HPV vaccine, according to researchers. – by Janel Miller
Cassidy B., et al. “Factors influencing nurse practitioner provider recommendations of the HPV vaccine: A pilot study survey.” Presented at: American Association of Nurse Practitioners National Conference; Jun. 20-25, 2017; Philadelphia.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.