Guidelines on cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccines not followed

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 15, 2013

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Less than a third of obstetrician-gynecologists vaccinate eligible patients against the human papilloma virus, and only half follow cervical cancer prevention guidelines, according to research published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Since 2006, vaccination against HPV has been recommended for women ages 11 to 26. In 2009, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued guidance that included the initiation of Pap tests for women at age 21 and spelled out screening for various age groups.

Researchers examined 366 responses by ob-gyns about their screening and vaccination practices and any barriers that prevented them from following the 2009 ACOG guidelines.

Only 27% of respondents estimated that eligible patients received the HPV vaccination. The main barrier to vaccination was refusal by parents and patients.

Although half of respondents did not follow ACOG guidance on cervical cancer screening, most doctors continued to recommend annual Pap test screening.

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