Objectives The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine prevents cervical and other HPV-associated cancers by preventing infection with oncogenic HPV subtypes. In the United States, only 57% of women and 53% of men in the recommended age groups have received all recommended doses. Our objective was to create a 7-minute interactive learning platform to improve knowledge of HPV and to assess willingness to recommend the vaccine among nurses.
Methods Pre- and post-intervention questions on HPV-associated cancers, vaccine eligible groups, dosing schedules, adverse events, and willingness to recommend the vaccine were posed. The intervention consisted of 10 flashcards in a question-answer format with up-to-date information and responses to frequently asked questions (e.g., Who should receive the vaccine and how is it given? Some parents may worry that their child will think that getting this vaccine makes it OK to have sex, how do I answer?).
Results All 113 participants (40.9±11.6 years-old, 58% with >10 years in practice) identified cervical cancer as an HPV-associated cancer. Post-intervention, there was improvement in recognition of other HPV-associated cancers (70% to 94%) and knowledge of dosing schedule (46% to 93%). 7% versus 1.7% of participants agreed with unproven adverse events pre- and post-intervention. 94% of participants strongly agreed that they would recommend the HPV vaccine to patients and 87% strongly agreed that the intervention improved their knowledge.
Conclusions While nurses are willing to recommend the vaccine, there are knowledge gaps in HPV-associated cancers, dosing schedules, and adverse events. An interactive flashcard educational intervention is effective in improving HPV vaccine knowledge among nurses.
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