Videos reduce HPV vaccine hesitancy among parents
During a communication experiment, brief videos of a pediatrician announcing to parents that their child is due for an HPV vaccine and easing their concerns reduced HPV vaccine hesitancy, data showed.
The CDC has previously reported that there has been some progress in adolescent HPV vaccination rates — 71.5% of adolescents aged 13 to 17 years received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine and 54.2% completed the HPV vaccination series in 2019, compared with 68.1% of teenagers who received one or more doses of HPV vaccine and 51.1% who completed the vaccine series in 2018. However, disparities in HPV vaccination rates remain, according to the agency.
“Health care providers are incredibly influential when it comes to helping parents make decisions about getting their children vaccinated,” Parth Shah, PharmD, PhD, an assistant professor at the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research in Washington, told Healio Primary Care. “However, there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about [the HPV] vaccine, so we wanted to find effective ways for providers to talk about HPV vaccine that is medically accurate, unambiguous to parents and their children and saves time in clinical encounters so other health topics can be discussed.”
Shah and colleagues created videos designed to reduce vaccine hesitancy. The videos were modeled after the “Announcement Approach,” an evidence-based communication strategy developed by Noel Brewer, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The strategy consists of videos notifying parents that their child is due for HPV vaccination, assuaging parents’ questions or concerns about the vaccine (“Ease” video) and encouraging parents to get their child vaccinated against HPV (“Encourage” video).
To assess the impact of the strategy, Shah and colleagues recruited an online national sample of 1,196 parents (average age, 43 years; non-Hispanic white, 70%) of children aged 9 to 17 years (average age, 13 years). Among the parents, 60% had children who did not start the HPV vaccination series. All parents were asked to watch a video announcing that their child is due for an HPV vaccine. The parents were then randomly assigned to watch either “Ease” (n = 300), “Encourage” (n = 301), both videos (n = 294) or neither of these videos (n = 298).
According to the researchers, “Ease” shared information about diseases prevented by HPV vaccination, national recommendations regarding the HPV vaccine, the recommended age to start the vaccine series, the importance of vaccination for boys and girls, school requirements for vaccination and the vaccine’s safety and adverse events. The “Encourage” video only featured a pediatrician saying, “I strongly believe in the importance of this cancer-preventing vaccine for your child. I recommend your child get the HPV vaccine today.”
Shah said the use of videos rather than text or infographics “adds to the ecological validity of our study, as parents viewed a message delivered by a pediatrician as they would if they were face‐to‐face with their child’s health care provider during a well visit or health care appointment.”
The parents took a survey regarding HPV vaccination before and after watching their randomly assigned video messages. Shah and colleagues then assessed children’s HPV vaccination status, parents’ general attitude toward vaccines and trait reactance to gauge the impact of experimental factors on vaccine hesitancy, vaccine confidence and perceived recommendation strength.
The researchers reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that the mean HPV vaccine hesitancy score of parents who watched “Ease” was lower compared with parents who did not see it (2.71 vs. 2.97; P < .001). In addition, parents who watched “Ease,” compared with those who did not, had more confidence in the benefit of the HPV vaccine, with confidence scores of 3.61 vs. 3.43 (P =.008). In contrast, the “Encourage” video had no significant impact on HPV vaccine hesitancy or confidence, according to Shah and colleagues.
“The Announcement Approach gives providers an effective way to communicate about HPV vaccine that saves time during clinical encounters and results in same-day HPV vaccination,” the researchers concluded.