Characterizing safety-net providers’ HPV vaccine recommendations to undecided parents: A pilot study
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OBJECTIVE: Although provider recommendation is a key predictor of HPV vaccination, how providers verbalize recommendations particularly strong ones is unknown. We developed a tool to describe strength and content of provider recommendations. METHODS: We used electronic health records to identify unvaccinated adolescents with appointments at six safety-net clinics in Dallas, Texas. Clinic visit audio-recordings were qualitatively analyzed to identify provider recommendation types (presumptive vs. participatory introduction; strong vs. weak), describe content communicated, and explore patterns between recommendation type and vaccination. RESULTS: We analyzed 43 audio-recorded discussions between parents and 12 providers. Most providers used a participatory introduction (42 discussions) and made weak recommendations (24 discussions) by using passive voice or adding a qualification (e.g., not school required). Few providers (11 discussions) gave strong recommendations (clear, personally-owned endorsement). HPV vaccination was lowest for those receiving only weak recommendations and highest when providers coupled the recommendation with an adjacent rationale. CONCLUSION: Our new tool provides initial evidence of how providers undercut their recommendations through qualifications or support them with a rationale. Most providers gave weak HPV vaccine recommendations and used a participatory introduction. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Providers would benefit from communication skills training on how to make explicit recommendations with an evidence-based rationale.
author list (cited authors)
Shay, L. A., Street, R. L., Baldwin, A. S., Marks, E. G., Lee, S. C., Higashi, R. T., ... Tiro, J. A.