Background Although physician recommendation is one of the strongest predictors of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, it is unclear for whom physicians are recommending the vaccine. To help guide intervention efforts, this study investigated predictors of participant-reported physician recommendation for HPV vaccine among young adults in the USA.
Methods Women and men (N=223) aged 18–26 years were recruited online through Craigslist, a popular classified advertisements website. Ads were posted in the 25 largest US cities from September 2013 to March 2014. Participants completed a survey that assessed demographic and sociopolitical characteristics, sexual history, HPV vaccination history, and whether they had ever received a recommendation for HPV vaccine from a physician or healthcare provider.
Results Fifty-three per cent reported receiving a recommendation for HPV vaccine and 45% had received ≥1 dose of HPV vaccine. Participants who received a recommendation were over 35 times more likely to receive ≥1 dose of HPV vaccine relative to participants without a recommendation. Bivariable and multivariable correlates of provider recommendation were identified. Results from the multivariable model indicated that younger (aged 18–21 years), female, White participants with health insurance (ie, employer-sponsored or some other type such as military-sponsored) were more likely to report receiving a recommendation for HPV vaccine.
Conclusions Results suggest that physician recommendation practices for HPV vaccination vary by characteristics of the patient. Findings underscore the key role of the healthcare provider in promoting HPV vaccination and have important implications for future HPV vaccine interventions with young adults.
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