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Sex Health. 2010 Sep;7(3):291-8. doi: 10.1071/SH09135.

National survey of general practitioners' experience of delivering the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program.

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Victorian Cytology Service, East Melbourne, Australia.



Between 2007 and 2009, Australian general practitioners (GPs) were involved in implementing a population-based human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program. We investigated GPs' experiences of delivering the HPV vaccine to women aged 18-26.


We posted a survey to 1000 GPs. The survey was informed by 12 domains incorporating constructs from psychological theories that focus on individual and environmental barriers and facilitators to effective implementation of evidence-based practice by health professionals.


The response rate was 32%. The 298 vaccinating GPs were positive about HPV vaccine implementation as part of their professional role as a worthwhile initiative within existing general practice infrastructure. They had more negative views about some aspects of program organisation, such as the timelines and potential adverse impacts on cervical screening rates. Vaccine safety was not a key concern. Actual levels of knowledge about HPV were moderate (mean score 3.41 out of 6 (s.d. 0.99)) and contrasted with self-rated knowledge, which was high (93% perceived their knowledge to be adequate). Notably, there were unrealistic expectations about the likely reduction in Pap abnormalities due to vaccination, which is important to clarify to avoid loss of confidence in the vaccine when this reduction does not eventuate.


Australian GPs viewed HPV vaccination of women aged 18-26 years as an integrated part of their routine practice, with positive attitudes regarding its benefits and achievability. GPs are well placed to implement mass immunisation programs as long as they are supported by effective and timely communication strategies and resources.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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