Appropriate provider recommendation was critical for increasing HPV vaccination uptake. Still, there was little research on actual conversations between providers and parents, the impact of parental pre-visit vaccine intention on vaccination, or the impact of conversation style on parental satisfaction with that conversation. From May 2015 to March 2017, researchers studied 146 audio-recorded clinical interactions for a study involving physicians, parents/guardians, and HPV vaccine-eligible adolescents from eight practices in the Northeastern United States. Pre-visit evaluations of intent to vaccinate and post-visit ratings of satisfaction with vaccination talks were completed by parents. They studied relationships between providers’ vaccine introductions and vaccination receipt using qualitative analysis of transcribed audio recordings.

Provider recommendations were classified as “indicated” (a clear suggestion that the kid receives HPV vaccination at that visit), “elective” (vaccination was offered as an option), or “contraindicated” (vaccine was presented as an option) (delay recommended). Following “indicated,” “elective,” and “contraindicated” presentations, immunisation rates were 87%, 68%, and 0%, respectively. The reception of the vaccination was unaffected by providers’ remarks attesting to the vaccine’s utility to the kid. Vaccine receipt was connected with parental pre-visit intent to vaccinate: 100% for likely/very likely compared to 28% for extremely improbable. Undecided parents showed the strongest link between vaccine recommendation type and vaccine reception, with 92% accepting immunization after a “recommended” recommendation vs 68% after an “elective” recommendation. Vaccine talks were generally well-received, regardless of suggestion style. 

The findings imply that the language used to promote HPV vaccination can influence parents’ decisions about HPV vaccination.