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Moffitt researchers analyze HPV vaccination disparities among girls from low-income families
Date:3/26/2013

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of Florida studied health care providers to determine the factors associated with disparities in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among girls, ages 9 to 17, from low-income families. They found that physician vaccination strategies and the type of practice play a role in whether or not girls were vaccinated.

The study results were published in the Feb. 1 issue of Cancer.

"The HPV vaccine has made cervical cancer preventable. However, low-income and minority women still experience a higher number of deaths from the disease," said Susan T. Vadaparampil, Ph.D., M.P.H., member of the Health Outcomes and Behavior Program at Moffitt. "There are no-cost HPV vaccination programs available, such as the Vaccines for Children program, to help, but we still find low-income and minority females are less likely to receive the vaccination series."

The HPV vaccine has been recommended for females ages 11 to 26 since 2006. Despite the availability of the vaccine, more than 12,700 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,290 died from the disease in 2011. As a result, the federal government has included the reduction of HPV infection rates and an increase in HPV vaccination rates in its Healthy People 2020 program.

In order to assess the factors associated with low HPV vaccine rates, the researchers surveyed a random sample of 800 Florida health care providers from the Medicaid Master Provider File. The researchers mailed the providers a 27-item survey that evaluated the characteristics of their practice, their HPV information and knowledge, possible barriers to HPV vaccination, and their vaccine recommendation and strategy practices.

The researchers found that:

  • Family physicians had a lower patient HPV vaccination prevalence than pediatricians.
  • Physicians in multi-specialty practice were less likely to vaccinate than those in
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Contact: Kim Polacek
kim.polacek@moffitt.org
813-745-7408
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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