Objectives Despite current efforts, human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination rates remain low. We propose the use of a Relational Agent (RA, image 1), as a novel interactive tool, to encourage patients to act as advocates for HPV vaccination. This pilot study assesses the acceptability of RA-based intervention and its impact on survivor intention to discuss vaccination.
Methods Thirty patients with cervical cancer or dysplasia were recruited between 11/2020 and 2/2021 at Karmanos Cancer Institute. The control group (n=15) received an educational brochure and the intervention group (n=15) engaged in a virtual discussion with the RA. Participants completed surveys assessing attitudes toward the RA, intention to discuss HPV vaccination with family, HPV knowledge, and attitudes toward HPV vaccination before and after reviewing the RA.
Results When measured by responses of satisfied or very satisfied; 86% thought the RA was easy to talk to and liked talking with the RA, while 80% found it trustworthy. Participants receiving the RA intervention demonstrated stronger intention to discuss HPV vaccination with family compared to control (figure 1).
Conclusions These results demonstrate that simulated healthcare providers such as RA’s are an acceptable educational tool that could be adapted for diverse populations in both high and low resource settings. Additionally, the RA may increase intention to discuss HPV vaccination, indicating potential to increase advocacy for HPV vaccination by cervical cancer survivors globally.
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