Mothers' medical appointments may be a link to getting daughters vaccinated for human papillomavirus
Research Activities, July 2011, No. 371
Despite the availability of two vaccines to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which causes cervical cancer, most young women in the United States are not vaccinated. One reason for low vaccination rates may be because adolescent women make fewer trips to the doctor's office during their tween and teen years than any other period of their lives. A group of researchers from the University of Michigan Medical Center found that approaching young women's mothers during annual visits for Pap smears or mammograms may be a possible route for increasing awareness of HPV and improving HPV vaccination rates.
Researchers mailed 3,000 surveys to urban and suburban women who received Pap smears or mammograms. Of the 937 women who responded, a quarter (232 women) had daughters who were 9 to 17 years old, the age range recommended for HPV vaccination. The authors suggest that visits for Pap smears or mammograms may also serve as opportunities for clinicians to educate mothers on the importance of having their daughters vaccinated against HPV. This study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS15491).
See "Feasibility of using maternal cancer screening visits to identify adolescent girls eligible for human papillomavirus vaccination," by Ruth C. Carlos, M.D., M.S., Amanda F. Dempsey, M.D., Ph.D., Ken Resnicow, Ph.D., and others in the December 2010 Journal of Women's Health 19(12), pp. 2271-2275.