Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates are far below Healthy People 2020 goals and the lack of youth-friendly providers contribute to suboptimal rates. Study aims were to (1) assess accessibility of the HPV vaccine for adolescent females by evaluating providers for youth friendliness and (2) assess front-line office barriers to vaccination as would be experienced by adolescent females. Thirty-nine providers (19 city health clinics, 13 private practices and 7 university-based health centers) in Philadelphia were selected by GIS mapping to create a representative distribution of sites. Each provider was contacted via telephone utilizing a mystery-shopper format and the person who answered the call, typically the receptionist, was administered a structured telephone survey with questions of known-importance to adolescents when obtaining healthcare. At the end, each call was rated for its customer service. Each site received 2 calls, resulting in 78 completed calls. 65% of calls were answered by a receptionist, while the remainder were unanswered. Of answered calls, 76 % required that an appointment for vaccination, 83 % required that a patient be seen for a physical exam before vaccination, 90% required parental consent for vaccination, and 50% required some form of health insurance. The mean customer service rating was 3.59 (SD= 1.02). In examining the necessity of insurance coverage by provider type, results indicated that 35.7% of clinics would see patients without insurance, compared to 7.1% of private practices and 7.1% of university-based practices (Χ2= 12.761, df, 2, p = 0.002). Overall, city health clinics were determined to be the most youth-friendly, but barriers to adolescents obtaining the HPV vaccine were prevalent at all provider types. Initiatives to educate front-line office staff about interacting with youth clients, as well as decreasing barriers for adolescents to access care, could prove useful in increasing the HPV vaccination rate of adolescent females.
Recommended CitationMordenti, Melisa, "Assessing Vaccine Access, Barriers, and Youth-Friendly Provider Characteristics for Adolescent Females Seeking Information on the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine" (2011). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 42.