HPV Vaccine Refusal Explored Among Cancer Survivors, Seen in ages 9-26 years

Most of the cancer survivors who refused participation in a trial of the vaccine did so for vaccine-related concerns

Cancer survivors refusing participation in a trial assessing the safety and immunogenicity of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine do so mainly due to vaccine-related concerns, according to a study published online in Cancer.

Brooke Cherven, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of data from an open-label clinical trial assessing the safety and immunogenicity of the HPV vaccine among HPV-naive cancer survivors aged 9 to 26 years. Survivors/parents who declined to participate in the trial were asked their reasons for declining; these reasons were categorized.

The researchers found that 215 of the 301 survivors (71.4 percent) refused participation in the trial for reasons related to vaccination. Safety concerns, hesitancy/disinterest, external influences, vaccination‐related information deficits, and health beliefs/family decisional processes were reasons for related refusal. Females were more likely than males to refuse for reasons related to health beliefs/family decisional processes and were less likely to refuse due to external influences (odds ratios, 2.08 and 0.43, respectively). Survivors approached during the latter years of the trial were more likely to refuse due to safety concerns (odds ratio, 3.33).

“Findings from this study have implications for clinical practice because health care providers, both oncologists, and primary care clinicians, can potentially address many of these reasons by using evidence‐based communication strategies,” the authors write.

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