This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background Healthcare providers' (HCPs) recommendations for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine are likely to increase the vaccination uptake. However, little is known about Ghanaian HCPs' general practices regarding HPV vaccination. We used Multi-Theory Model (MTM) constructs (i.e. participatory dialogue, behavioral confidence, environment, social and emotional transformation) to examine Ghanaian HCPs' attitudes towards HPV vaccination and their vaccination recommendation practices. Methods We conducted three, 60-minute focus group discussions (FGDs) with HCP in the secondlargest government hospital in Ghana. Sixteen semi-structured open-ended questions based on MTM constructs were used to guide the FGDs. We explored HCPs' general knowledge about HPV, vaccination recommendation behavior, physical environment, and sociocultural factors associated with the HPV vaccination. Data from the FGDs were transcribed and thematically coded using NVivo software. Results The sample of (n = 29) HCPs consisting of males (n = 15) and females (n = 14) between the ages of 29 and 42 years participated in the FGDs. Our analyses showed that HCPs (a) rarely offered HPV vaccination recommendations, (b) showed varied understanding about who should be vaccinated regarding age eligibility, gender, and infection status. Perceived barriers to HPV vaccination include (a) low urgency for vaccination education due to competing priorities such as malaria and HIV/AIDS; (b) lack of data on HPV vaccination; (c) lack of awareness about the vaccine safety and efficacy; (c) lack of HPV vaccine accessibility and (d) stigma, misconceptions and religious objections. HCPs expressed that their motivation for counseling their clients about HPV vaccination would be increased by having more knowledge about the vaccine's efficacy and safety, and the involvement of the parents, chiefs, churches, and opinion leaders in the vaccination programs. Conclusion The study's findings underscore the need for a comprehensive HPV vaccination education for HCPs in Ghana. Future HPV vaccination education programs should include information about the efficacy of the vaccine and effective vaccination messages to help mitigate HPV vaccine-related stigma.
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Agyei-Baffour, Peter; Asare, Matthew; Lanning, Beth; Koranteng, Adofo; Millan, Cassandra; Commeh, Mary E.; Montealegre, Jane R.; and Mamudu, Hadii M.. 2020. Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Practices and Perceptions Among Ghanaian Healthcare Providers: A Qualitative Study Based on Multitheory Model. PLoS ONE. Vol.15(10 October 2020). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0240657 PMID: 33064718