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Primary care team- and clinic level factors affecting HPV vaccine uptake.

  • Author(s): Chuang, Emmeline
  • Cabrera, Claudia
  • Mak, Selene
  • Glenn, Beth
  • Hochman, Michael
  • Bastani, Roshan
  • et al.

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This study examined patient-, care team- and clinic-level factors associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine initiation and completion.


HPV vaccine initiation and completion rates among adolescents aged 9-18years were assessed using administrative data (n=38,277) from a large federally qualified health center serving predominantly Latino patients. Four clinics with particularly high and low adolescent HPV vaccine uptake were selected for in-depth case study analyses. Semi-structured interviews with clinic leaders, providers, and support staff in these clinics (n=36) examined multilevel factors perceived as affecting vaccine initiation and completion.


On average, less than half (45%) of patients had initiated the HPV vaccine; of these, 52% of patients completed all recommended doses. Vaccine uptake varied significantly across clinics but was higher among patients seen by providers specializing in pediatrics. Qualitative findings confirmed the importance of provider communication strategies but indicated that other health care team structures and processes also play an important role in vaccine uptake. Care team members in higher performing clinics were more likely to describe vaccination as a team effort rather than solely the provider's responsibility. Support staff in higher performing clinics also spent more time reviewing patient preventive care needs and preparing patients for the provider encounter. Clinic-level factors such as performance management systems and the use of immunization champions were described as important for developing an organizational climate supportive of vaccination. Tracking and reminder systems were described as important but insufficient for ensuring vaccine uptake in the absence of other supports.


Efforts to improve HPV initiation and completion could benefit from additional attention to factors at the health care team and clinic levels. Interventions that target factors at multiple levels of influence are most likely to achieve higher vaccination rates. Quality monitoring programs may influence clinic investment in improving vaccination rates.

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