The researchers also found that providers of the no-cost Vaccine for Children program were more likely to vaccinate than those who did not participate in the program. Also, physicians who reported caring for minority groups had higher vaccination averages than those caring for non-minorities.
"This research helps us identify key ways in which we can target future provider interventions," Vadaparampil said. "Our next steps will be to develop interventions that target the providers and settings where vaccination rates were lowest."
Given that black and Hispanic women have higher rates of cervical cancer when compared to their white counterparts, these physicians may be more sensitized to the importance of vaccination against cervical cancer, said the researchers.
The finding they called "interesting" was that vaccination rates were relatively low in light of a patient's eligibility for free vaccination through the Vaccine for Children program. Other factors may have impeded vaccination, they suggested, such as disruption of provider vaccination supply or patient refusal.
"Since all patients of all physicians surveyed were eligible for free vaccination due to their participation in the Florida Medicaid program, our findings suggest that cost may not be the only barrier to vaccination," explained Teri Malo, Ph.D., M.P.H., applied research scientist in the Health Outcomes and Behavior Program at Moffitt.
"Our findings suggest that HPV vaccination disparities among low-income females, even in the absence of cost, require targeted intervention to increase vaccination rates among underserved populations," concluded the researchers. The intervention may focus on family physicians and specialty physicians who practice in non-private and multi-specialty settings
|Contact: Kim Polacek|
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute