Involving oral health practitioners in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination might help to lower the growing prevalence of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer (HPV-OPC). The purpose of this study was to determine Utah dentists’ attitudes on delivering HPV vaccine education and services in the dental practice. A convenience sample of N = 203 practicing Utah dentists completed a cross-sectional, 70-item self-administered survey. Chi Square tests of independence, scaled scores, and Cronbach’s alpha values were used in statistical studies. The majority of Utah dentists polled said that explaining the relationship between HPV and OPC and suggesting the HPV vaccine were within their area of practice, but that administering the HPV vaccine was not. Dentists who provided more than 10 minutes of patient education each week were less likely to be apprehensive about addressing HPV with their patients due to cultural, social standards, or religious beliefs. Rural dentists were more concerned about the HPV vaccine’s safety and responsibility. There was good internal consistency in survey items indicating obstacles and willingness to engage in HPV vaccination practices.

As a strategy, dental professionals were enthusiastic in HPV training and patient information pamphlets, but less so in providing the HPV vaccination. Dental societies encourage dentists to participate in HPV education and HPV-OPC prevention. This is the first research in Utah to look at dentists’ attitudes on HPV vaccination. The findings have implications for program creation, intervention design, and future study.

Reference: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21645515.2019.1649550