Improving HPV Vaccination Rates in a Racially and Ethnically Diverse Pediatric Population

Joanne E. Cox, Laura M. Bogart, Marc N. Elliott, Amy J. Starmer, Patricia Meleedy-Rey, Kathy Goggin, Taruna Banerjee, Ronald C. Samuels, Phillip D. Hahn, Alexandra Epee-Bounya, Sophie Allende-Richter, Chong Min Fu, Mark A. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nationally, 54.2% of youth are fully vaccinated for human papilloma virus (HPV) with persistent gender and racial/ethnic disparities. We used a quality improvement approach to improve completion of the HPV vaccine series by age 13 years. As a secondary aim, we examined racial/ethnic and gender differences in vaccine uptake. METHODS: The study setting included 2 pediatric, academic, primary care practices in Massachusetts. We designed a multilevel patient-, provider-, and systems-level intervention addressing parental hesitancy, provider communication, and clinical operations. Rates of HPV series completion by age 13 were monitored using a control p chart. Bivariate and multivariate analyses evaluated vaccine completion differences on the basis of clinic size, gender, and race/ethnicity. RESULTS: Between July 1, 2014, and September 30, 2021, control p charts showed special cause variation with HPV vaccine initiation by age 9 years, increasing from 1% to 52%, and vaccine completion by 13 years, increasing from 37% to 77%. Compared with White and Black children, Hispanic children were more likely to initiate the HPV vaccine at age 9 (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = (1.4-2.6)] and complete the series by age 13 (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 2.3 (1.7-3.0). CONCLUSIONS: A multilevel intervention was associated with sustained HPV vaccine series completion by age 13 years. Hispanic children were more likely to be vaccinated. Qualitative family input was critical to intervention design. Provider communication training addressed vaccine hesitancy. Initiation of the vaccine at age 9 and clinicwide vaccine protocols were key to sustaining improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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