Increasing knowledge about human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV vaccine is a potentially important way to increase vaccination rates, yet few education interventions have addressed these topics. We report the results of an education intervention targeting three key groups who have contact with adolescent females.
We conducted HPV education intervention sessions during 2008 and 2009 in Guilford County, North Carolina. Parents (n = 376), healthcare staff (n = 118), and school staff (n = 456) attended the one-time sessions and completed self-administered surveys. Analyses used mixed regression models to examine the intervention's effects on participants' self-rated HPV knowledge, objectively assessed HPV and HPV vaccine knowledge, and beliefs about HPV vaccine.
Participants had relatively low levels of objectively assessed HPV and HPV vaccine knowledge prior to the intervention. The education intervention increased self-rated HPV knowledge among all three key groups (all P < 0.001), and objectively assessed knowledge about many aspects of HPV and HPV vaccine among healthcare and school staff members (all P < 0.05). Following the intervention, more than 90% of school staff members believed HPV and HPV vaccine education is worthwhile for school personnel and that middle schools are an appropriate venue for this education. Most parents (97%) and school staff members (85%) indicated they would be supportive of school-based vaccination clinics.
Our education intervention greatly increased HPV and HPV vaccine knowledge among groups influential to the HPV vaccination behaviors of adolescent females.
Education interventions represent a simple yet potentially effective strategy for increasing HPV vaccination and garnering stronger support for school-based vaccination clinics.