HPV Vaccination and the Role of the Pediatric Dentist: Survey of Graduate Program Directors

Yoshita Patel Hosking, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate what is currently being taught in graduate pediatric dental programs regarding the human papillomavirus (HPV) and risk factors associated with oropharyngeal cancer (OPC). Methods: A 42-question survey was administered via paper and pen survey instrument to attendees at the 2016 AAPD annual meeting for graduate and assistant program directors. The survey included questions evaluating attitudes/beliefs towards the HPV vaccine, current training in graduate pediatric dentistry programs, and aimed to define whether the program directors believed that the discussion of HPV vaccination and associated risk factors is within the scope of practice for pediatric dentists. Results: 64 of 71 attendees completed the survey. 77% of respondents believe they should be discussing the HPV vaccine with patients/parents. Increased age of respondent was correlated to the idea of discussion of sexual health and its link to OPC being within the scope of practice of pediatric dentistry (r = 0.35, p=.005). However, 75% of respondents do not discuss HPV formally in their curricula. Conclusions: HPV is the most common cancer-causing virus in the United States. The vaccine is important to pediatric patients’ oral and systemic health and dentists should encourage vaccination of all patients aged 11–12.

Subject Area

Education Policy|Health sciences|Health education

Recommended Citation

Hosking, Yoshita Patel, "HPV Vaccination and the Role of the Pediatric Dentist: Survey of Graduate Program Directors" (2017). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10257654.