HealthDay News — Providers engaging parents hesitant about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and addressing their concerns can lead to same-day vaccinations, according to a study published online May 15 in Pediatrics.

Laura A. Shay, Ph.D., from the University of Texas in San Antonio, and colleagues audio-recorded 43 visits with unvaccinated adolescents at six pediatric clinics in which parents were undecided about HPV vaccination. Parent-provider communication was coded for qualitative analysis.

The researchers found that 37 parents expressed hesitancy at least one time in many ways, including assertive responses (27 visits), questions (16 visits), and concerns (12 visits). 

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Same-day vaccinations were higher when the first expression of hesitancy was a question or concern versus an initial assertive response (71 and 75 percent, respectively, versus 33 percent). Provider responses were characterized as only persistent (18 visits), a mix of acquiescent and persistent (13 visits), and only acquiescent (six visits). Vaccinations were more common when providers only used persistence (17 of 18 adolescents vaccinated) versus only acquiescence (no vaccinations).

“Our exploratory analysis reveals that providers engaging hesitant parents and addressing their concerns can lead to same-day HPV vaccination. Data reveal that even parents making assertive statements are amenable to influence by providers,” the authors write. “Our findings reveal an important missed opportunity when providers simply acquiesce to parental hesitation.”

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