A Survey of Wisconsin Pediatricians’ Knowledge and Practices Regarding the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is common and carries a significant burden of disease. This is increasingly apparent in males with the rising incidence of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. Unfortunately, vaccination rates remain poor and are lowest in males. It is unclear if pediatricians are aware of the alarming rise of HPV-mediated head and neck cancers and the disproportionate effect on males.Study Design
This investigation used a cross-sectional descriptive survey research design.Setting
The survey was developed by investigators in the University of Wisconsin Division of Otolaryngology.Subjects and Methods
The survey was distributed to 831 members of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.Results
A total response rate of 49.6% was achieved. Most supported routine vaccination in both sexes. Females are regarded as being at higher risk of an HPV-related cancer and are more often recommended vaccination. Most providers are unaware of the magnitude of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer and the greater affliction in males.Conclusions
Male vaccination is overwhelmingly supported by Wisconsin pediatricians, yet there is a preponderance toward vaccinating females, who are perceived as having greater risk for HPV-associated disease. This is likely because providers are unaware of the magnitude of HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer and its predilection for males. A lack of provider awareness, in combination with out-of-date education material for parents, likely contributes to poor vaccination rates in males.