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Keywords:

  • attitudes;
  • doctors;
  • HPV;
  • human papillomavirus;
  • vaccination

Aim:  To investigate the willingness of clinicians to recommend human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, the strength of support for a national HPV vaccine programme and to determine which factors, if any, affected these.

Methods:  An online, invitation-only questionnaire was developed and distributed to three medical professional groups in the West Yorkshire Region, United Kingdom.

Results:  Two hundred twenty-two responders were included in the final analysis, from the following

specialties: general practice (62), paediatrics (103) and obstetrics and gynaecology (57). The majority of doctors were in favour of an National Health Service-funded national vaccination programme. Over 90% supported vaccination of girls as early as ages 11–13. Fewer doctors felt comfortable recommending vaccination to parents of girls under 16 than to young women. Latent class analysis demonstrated that doctors' self-rated knowledge of the HPV vaccine was an important determinant of willingness to recommend vaccination. Younger, more recently qualified doctors were less likely to be willing to recommend vaccination.

Conclusions:  There is widespread support for vaccination. Information provision to doctors will be important in maximising clinician confidence in recommending vaccination, and may be most beneficial when targeted at more junior doctors.