Brief Doctor Chats Make Parents More Likely To OK HPV Vaccine : Shots - Health News A decade after HPV vaccine was introduced in the U.S., many doctors still hesitate to routinely recommend that children get vaccinated against the cancer-causing virus.
NPR logo

Advice For Doctors Talking To Parents About HPV Vaccine: Make It Brief

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/504136418/504395615" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Advice For Doctors Talking To Parents About HPV Vaccine: Make It Brief

Advice For Doctors Talking To Parents About HPV Vaccine: Make It Brief

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/504136418/504395615" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The HPV vaccination is recommended for children ages 11 or 12 and prevents numerous cancers in adulthood, but rates of vaccination are low. New research suggests that doctors should be more assertive when recommending the vaccine. NPR's Patti Neighmond reports.

PATTI NEIGHMOND, BYLINE: The HPV vaccine fights a virus - the human papilloma virus - that's sexually transmitted. Earlier research shows that's what makes doctors uncomfortable talking to parents of young adolescents. Behavior scientist Noel Brewer with the University of North Carolina.

NOEL BREWER: Every health care provider has a story they can tell about a difficult conversation with a parent. They remember these and these difficult conversations become larger than life.

NEIGHMOND: So Brewer wanted to know how doctors could talk more effectively with parents and get more kids vaccinated. He studied two approaches. One - open ended, encouraging discussion and questions. The other - a short, simple statement.

BREWER: Now that Michael is 12, there are three vaccines we give to kids his age. Today he'll get meningitis, HPV and Tdap vaccines.

NEIGHMOND: Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis - Brewer found these simple direct statements meant more kids got the vaccine. The open-ended discussion didn't make any difference. The message for doctors...

BREWER: Tell parents about HPV vaccine just like they would about any other vaccine.

NEIGHMOND: And maybe more children will be protected from this dangerous cancer-causing virus. Patti Neighmond, NPR News.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.