MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Study shows mixing education, medicine and incentives my boost HPV vaccinations

Physicians change methods for encouraging HPV vaccine
Physicians change methods for encouraging HPV vaccine

Health professionals have conducted a study in integrating traditional education and incentives to advance vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV) in both boys and girls.

The study by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) focused on educating patients, repeatedly contacting the patients, adding incentives and individualizing the time spent between patients and physicians.

The data shows that mixing education, interpersonal connections and better incentives significantly improves HPV vaccination rates.

Health professionals treat approximately 3 million Americans for HPV or its related viruses each year. Each year, 27,000 Americans contract HPV or related disease, and 5,000 of those cases end in death. Research shows that receiving all three of the required doses of the vaccine may prevent HPV cancers by 70 percent.

Unfortunately less than half of adolescent boys and girls receive the vaccine, placing them at greater risk of illness and death.

"Right now, too many Americans suffer from HPV-related cancers,” Dr. Rebecca Perkins, corresponding author of the study, a gynecologist at Boston Medical Center and assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at BUSM, said. “These should be considered vaccine-preventable diseases. Physicians have largely eliminated other vaccine-preventable diseases by working hard to vaccinate all their patients - we hope this intervention will help to improve HPV vaccination rates for our young people.”

The study appears online in the journal Vaccine.

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