So despite these positive findings, why are patients still not receiving the HPV vaccine as readily as we would like? To answer that question, Allison et al. (10.1542/peds.2015-2488) opted to study where the missed opportunities are and why. The investigators surveyed nationally pediatricians and family physicians and then looked at factors associated with not discussing the vaccine with families of girls and boys at 11 or 12 years of age.
The response rate to this survey is excellent making the generalizability more likely and in turn some very interesting findings even more interesting as a result. The authors look carefully at differences between those who frequently and infrequently promote giving the vaccine and assess differences between these two groups of physicians.
The results of this study can be very useful in designing even better strategies to provide the information to pediatricians and family physicians that can help them help families remove any doubt that the HPV vaccine benefits far outweigh the risks. Both of these studies make some sharp points and inject just the right amount of data that will hopefully increase HPV vaccine rates even more in the years ahead.