Background: Physician communication about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is a key determinant of uptake. To support physician communication, we sought to identify messages that would motivate HPV vaccination.
Methods: From 2014 to 2015, we surveyed national samples of parents of adolescents ages 11 to 17 (n = 1,504) and primary care physicians (n = 776). Parents read motivational messages, selected from nine longer messages developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and six brief messages developed by the study team. Parents indicated whether each message would persuade them to get HPV vaccine for their adolescents. Physicians read the brief messages and indicated whether they would use them to persuade parents to get HPV vaccine for 11- to 12-year-old children.
Results: The highest proportion of parents (65%) and physicians (69%) found this brief message to be persuasive: “I strongly believe in the importance of this cancer-preventing vaccine for [child's name].” Parents disinclined to vaccinate were most receptive to messages with information about HPV infection being common, cancers caused by HPV, and HPV vaccine effectiveness. Parents' endorsement did not vary by race/ethnicity, education, child age, or child sex (all P > 0.05).
Conclusions: Our national surveys of parents and physicians identified messages that could motivate HPV vaccination, even among parents disinclined to vaccinate their children. The lack of difference across demographic subgroups in parental endorsement may suggest that these messages can be used across these subgroups.
Impact: Our findings support physicians' use of these messages with parents to help motivate uptake of this important cancer-preventing vaccine. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(10); 1–9. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Online (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received March 14, 2016.
- Revision received June 23, 2016.
- Accepted July 22, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.