Factors influencing HPV vaccine delivery by healthcare professionals at public health posts in São Paulo, Brazil


OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between Brazilian healthcare providers' characteristics and their knowledge, perceptions, and practices regarding the HPV vaccine. METHODS: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted at five public health posts in São Paulo between July 28 and August 8, 2014. Healthcare professionals directly involved in patient care were asked to complete a written survey. Factors associated with routine verification of HPV vaccination status were evaluated using Poisson regression. RESULTS: Among 200 participants included, 74 (38.5%) reported never and 70 (36.5%) reported always asking about HPV immunization status. Doctors were significantly less likely to report always asking than were community health agents (5/39 [12.8%] vs 32/60 [53.3%]; adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] 0.25 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07-0.91]). Knowledge about the correct dosing schedule was associated with always rather than never verifying vaccination status (aPR 2.46 [95% CI 1.06-5.70]). CONCLUSION: Knowledge and attitude played secondary roles in influencing HPV vaccine verification. Community health agents were crucial for vaccine promotion; continued education and support of this group is essential for the sustained success of HPV immunization efforts in Brazil.