Knowledge and Attitudes of General Practitioners and Sexual Health Care Professionals Regarding Human Papillomavirus Vaccination for Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

Samuel W D Merriel*, Carrie Flannagan, Jo Kesten, Gilla Shapiro, Tom Nadarzynski, Gillian Prue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
262 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Men who have sex with men (MSM) may be at higher risk for human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers. Healthcare professionals’ recommendations can affect HPV vaccination uptake. Since 2016, MSM up to 45 years have been offered HPV vaccination at genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in a pilot programme, and primary care was recommended as a setting for opportunistic vaccination. Vaccination prior to potential exposure to the virus (i.e., sexual debut) is likely to be most efficacious, therefore a focus on young MSM (YMSM) is important. This study aimed to explore and compare the knowledge and attitudes of UK GPs (General Practitioners) and sexual healthcare professionals (SHCPs) regarding HPV vaccination for YMSM (age 16–24). A cross-sectional study using an online questionnaire examined 38 GPs and 49 SHCPs, including 59 (67.82%) females with a mean age of 40.71 years. Twenty-two participants (20 SHCPs, p < 0.001) had vaccinated a YMSM patient against HPV. GPs lack of time (25/38, 65.79%) and SHCP staff availability (27/49, 55.10%) were the main reported factors preventing YMSM HPV vaccination. GPs were less likely than SHCPs to believe there was sufficient evidence for vaccinating YMSM (OR = 0.02, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.47); less likely to have skills to identify YMSM who may benefit from vaccination (OR = 0.03, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.15); and less confident recommending YMSM vaccination (OR = 0.01, 95% CI = 0.00, 0.01). GPs appear to have different knowledge, attitudes, and skills regarding YMSM HPV vaccination when compared to SHCPs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number151
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume15
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • vaccine communication
  • papillomaviruses
  • vaccine uptake
  • sexual minorities;

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