Factors Influencing The Recommendation Of The Human Papillomavirus Vaccine By South African Doctors Working In A Tertiary Hospital

Muhammad HOQUE, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

1 Graduate School of Business and Leadreship, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Purpose: In South Africa, the HPV vaccination programme was incorporated recently into 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 the HPV vaccine programme nationally, as this influences parental decisions regarding vaccine acceptability in their adolescents. The objective  of this study was to investigate factors contributing to recommending HPV vaccines to patients.
Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted among 320 doctors, using a self-administered anonymous questionnaire.
Results: The average age of the participants was 39 years. All the doctors were aware of HPV and knew that HPV was transmitted sexually. Their overall level of knowledge regarding HPV infections and the HPV vaccine was poor, but most intended to prescribe the vaccine to their patients. Doctors who knew HPV 6 and 11 are responsible for > 90% of anogenital warts, their patients will comply with the counseling 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).
Conclusions: There was a knowledge gap about HPV infection and HPV vaccine among the doctors. For the HPV vaccination programme to be successful in the country, there is an urgent need to educate doctors about it.
Funding source: There was no funding received for this study.