Patient–Provider Health Communication Strategies: Enhancing HPV Vaccine Uptake among Adolescents of Color

Mia Ann Xu, Jasmin Choi, Ariadna Capasso, Ralph DiClemente

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Cervical cancer remains a public health issue in the United States, particularly among stigmatized racial and ethnic populations. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been clinically proven to prevent cervical cancers, and other HPV-associated cancers, among men and women. However, HPV vaccine uptake is suboptimal; only 55% of adolescents complete the two-dose series by age 15. Past research has shown that provider HPV vaccine communication for people of marginalized races/ethnicities is subpar. This article focuses on provider communication strategies to promote HPV vaccine uptake effectively and equitably. The authors reviewed the literature on evidence-based patient–provider HPV vaccine communication techniques to create a set of communication language providers could use and avoid using to enhance HPV vaccine acceptance and uptake among adolescents of marginalized racial and ethnic groups. Evidence has shown that information and the manner of dissemination are critical for influencing HPV vaccine uptake. These communication strategies must be suited to the context of the targeted population, and the message content can be broadly categorized into source, content, and modality. Strategies to improve patient–provider communication among adolescents of color using source, modality, and content include the following: (1) Source: increase provider self-efficacy to provide the recommendation, building rapport between providers and parents; (2) Content: persistent, forceful language with minimal acquiescence should be employed, reframing the conversation focus from sex to cancer; and (3) Modality: use multiple vaccine reminder modalities, and work with the community to culturally adapt the vaccination language. Utilizing effective behavior-change communication adapted for adolescents of color can reduce missed opportunities for HPV prevention, potentially decreasing racial and ethnic disparities in HPV-related morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1702
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • HPV vaccine uptake
  • adolescent health
  • culturally adapted messaging
  • health communication
  • healthcare providers
  • marginalized racial and ethnic groups
  • vaccine communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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