198744 To vaccinate or not?: Using SEM to examine predictors of physicians' intentions to vaccinate against HPV

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:13 PM

Natoshia M. Askelson, MPH, PhD , Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Shelly Campo, PhD , Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA
John B. Lowe, DrPH, FAHPA, FAAHB , School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Australia
Leslie Dennis, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Sandi Smith, PhD , Department of Communication, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Julie L. Andsager, PhD , Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
This study assessed physicians' intentions to vaccinate 9- to 15-year-old female patients against the human papillomavirus (HPV). The use of the Theory of Planned Behavior to determine the influencers of physicians' intentions is an addition to the current literature on the acceptability of the HPV vaccine. The survey was mailed to a random sample of 900 family practice and pediatric physicians in a rural, Midwest state. The survey questions focused on the constructs of the theory: subjective norms, attitudes, perceived behavioral control, and intention. Physicians were also asked about socio-demographics and practice characteristics. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate the influence of the theoretical constructs. Of the 207 physicians who responded, intentions to vaccinate were very high (86.5%). They reported intending to begin vaccination younger than the 11 to 12-year-old standard recommendation (M = 10.93 years). Physicians had positive attitudes towards the vaccine, but these attitudes did not influence intention to vaccinate. Intention to vaccinate was driven by subjective norms ( = 1.00, p < 0.05) and perceived behavioral control ( = 0.39, p < 0.05. Recommendations from professional organizations, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and influential colleagues are keys to increasing vaccine acceptability. More attention should be focused on non-physician-related vaccination issues such as cost and making it easier for girls in this age group to see a physician more often than they currently do.

Learning Objectives:
Explain how to use theory to explore issues related to HPV vaccination intentions. Identify the areas where public health professionals can impact HPV vaccination rates.

Keywords: STD Prevention, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a researcher in adolescent health. I have an MPH and PhD.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.