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DOI: 10.1080/21645515.2021.1885968; PMCID: PMC8920206


Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes >40,000 cancer diagnoses each year, yet vaccination rates remain low because widespread implementation of strategies to increase vaccinations has not occurred. Behavioral nudges have demonstrated efficacy in improving uptake of desired behaviors in health care settings but have not been tested for increasing HPV vaccinations. We assessed the impact of an intervention combining behavioral nudges with other proven strategies (i.e., assessment and feedback, provider communication training) on HPV vaccination rates and parental satisfaction in four Midwestern pediatric, outpatient practices. Practices were randomly assigned to receive either assessment and feedback or assessment and feedback combined with vaccine communication training and behavioral nudges in the form of vaccine commitment posters. Providers (n = 16) completed surveys regarding vaccine policies and parents (n = 215) reported on their child's vaccine history and satisfaction with the consultation. Three practices increased HPV vaccination rates (1-10%); however, there was no statistically significant difference by study arm. Most parents (M age 41.3; SD 8.1; 85% female, 68% White) indicated their child had previously initiated the HPV vaccine series (61%) and 72% indicated receipt of an HPV vaccine during the study visit. Concerns among HPV vaccine-hesitant parents (28%) included vaccine safety and believing the vaccine is unnecessary (40%). Most parents were satisfied with their consultation. Practices in both intervention groups increased vaccination rates. While some parents continue to harbor concerns about vaccine safety and necessity, parents welcomed discussions about HPV and were satisfied with their provider's communication regardless of their vaccine decisions.

Journal Title

Hum Vaccin Immunother





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HPV; communication; concerns; nudge; recommendation


Grant support

This work was supported by the Masonic Cancer Alliance. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. Publisher's Link: