Factors influencing the recommendation of the Human Papillomavirus vaccine by South African doctors working in a tertiary hospital
Background: In South Africa, HPV vaccination programme has been incorporated recently in the school health system. Since doctors are the most trusted people regarding health issues in general, their knowledge and attitudes regarding HPV infections and vaccination are very important for HPV vaccine program nationally.
Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate factors contributing to recommendation of HPV vaccines to the patients.
Methods: This was a quantitative cross-sectional study conducted among 320 doctors, using a self-administered anonymous questionnaire.
Results: All the doctors were aware of HPV and knew that HPV is transmitted sexually. Their overall level of knowledge regarding HPV infections and HPV vaccine was poor. But the majority intended to prescribe the vaccine to their patients. It was found that doctors who knew that HPV 6 and 11 are responsible for >90% of anogenital warts, their patients would comply with the counselling regarding HPV vaccination, and received sufficient information about HPV vaccination were 5.68, 4.91 and 4.46 times respectively more likely to recommend HPV vaccination to their patients, compared to their counterparts (p<0.05).
Conclusion: There was a knowledge gap regarding HPV infection and HPV vaccine among the doctors.
Keywords: Human Papillomavirus vaccine, South Africa
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