ABSTRACT: Background. Healthcare providers may vary their communications with different patients, which could give rise to differences in vaccination coverage. We examined demographic disparities in parental report of collaborative provider communication and implications for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. Methods. Participants were 4,124 parents who completed the National Immunization Survey-Teen about daughters ages 13–17. We analyzed disparities in collaborative communication (mutual information exchange, deliberation, and decision) and whether they mediated the relationship between demographic characteristics and HPV vaccine initiation. Results. Half of parents (53%) in the survey reported collaborative communication. Poor, less educated, Spanish-speaking, Southern, and rural parents, and parents of non-privately insured and Hispanic adolescents, were least likely to report collaborative communication (all p<.05). These disparities in communication accounted for geographic variation in HPV vaccination, specifically, the higher rates of uptake in the Northeast versus the South (mediation z=2.31, p<.01) and in urban/suburban vs. rural areas (mediation z=2.87, p<.01). These disparities were also associated with vaccination among subgroups with relatively high coverage, minimizing what could have been even higher uptake among Hispanic compared to non-Hispanic white adolescents (mediation z=−3.04, p<.01) and non-privately versus privately insured adolescents (mediation z=−3.67, p<.001). Controlling for provider recommendation attenuated some of these associations (but all p<.10). Conclusions. Collaborative communication showed widespread disparities, being least common among underserved groups. Collaborative communication helped account for differences—and lack of differences—in HPV vaccination among some subgroups of adolescent girls. Leveraging patient-provider communication, especially for underserved demographic groups, could improve HPV vaccination coverage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy