A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Barriers to and Facilitators of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Among Adolescents in Montana

Sophia R. Newcomer, James Caringi, Beth Jones, Emily Coyle, Timothy Schehl, Matthew F. Daley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates among adolescents are lower in rural areas than in urban areas of the United States. The objective of this study was to identify barriers to and facilitators of adolescent HPV vaccination in Montana, a large, primarily rural state. Methods: Using a mixed-methods design, we integrated quantitative analyses of Montana’s National Immunization Survey–Teen (NIS-Teen) data from 2013-2017 with qualitative data collected at a statewide meeting in October 2018 and from stakeholder interviews conducted from October 2018 through June 2019. Using NIS-Teen data, we identified trends and estimated adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) to identify factors associated with vaccine uptake. Using directed content analysis of qualitative data, we identified themes related to vaccine uptake. Results: In Montana, initiation of the HPV vaccine series among adolescents aged 13-17 increased from 34.4% in 2013 to 65.5% in 2017. We identified 6 themes related to HPV vaccination from qualitative analyses, including medical providers’ recommendation style as a facilitator of vaccination and parental vaccine hesitancy as a barrier to vaccination. In NIS-Teen 2017 data (n = 326 adolescents), receiving a medical provider recommendation was significantly associated with series initiation (aPR = 2.3; 95% CI, 1.5-3.6). Among parents who did not intend to initiate the vaccine series for their adolescent within 12 months (n = 71), vaccine safety was the top concern (aPR = 24.5%; 95% CI, 12.1%-36.9%). Conclusions: HPV vaccination rates have increased in Montana but remain lower than rates for other adolescent vaccines. Future work should focus on reducing missed opportunities, increasing parents’ knowledge of and confidence in vaccination, and training medical providers on addressing common vaccine concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-850
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • NIS-Teen
  • adolescent health
  • infectious disease
  • public health
  • rural health
  • vaccines


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