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Month: December 2018

Vacteens: A Mobile Web App to Improve HPV Vaccine Uptake

Vacteens: A Mobile Web App to Improve HPV Vaccine Uptake

Dr. W. Gill Woodall from Klein Buendel (KB) and the University of New Mexico and Jeanny Reither from KB presented findings from the Vacteens Project at the Eurogin International Multidisciplinary HPV Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, December 2-5, 2018. Eurogin is one of the most important conferences on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection and related cancers. It aims to raise the public health profile of HPV, increase the need for responsible health services, and examine the cost-effectiveness of risk-based screening to pave the way for the development of new strategies for the prevention of HPV-induced cancers.

The uptake of the HPV vaccine in the United States remains significantly below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80% series completion, and this is particularly so for the young adolescent age range, when the immunogenic response to the vaccine is stronger. While a number of factors may account for this less than desirable vaccine uptake, parental concerns and misinformation about the efficacy and safety of HPV vaccine remain barriers to reaching public health vaccination goals. Physician and clinic-based interventions have shown some limited positive effect on vaccine uptake. However, parental barriers to HPV vaccination may ideally be addressed by digital interventions (in this case, smartphone applications) that are tailored to their concerns. Specifically, research indicates there is a great deal of: (1) confusion and uncertainty about HPV vaccine, and (2) concomitant misinformation about HPV vaccine, who it is meant for, and the conditions under which it is maximally effective.

With funding from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Woodall’s team systematically developed a set of mobile web app tools to prompt the informed adoption of HPV vaccination. They used Diffusion of Innovations Theory and related research on Informed Decision Making to guide the iterative development of mobile apps for parents of young female and male adolescents.

Ms. Reither presented a poster that reported the results of developmental research and early trial findings from two smartphone web app projects — one focused on parents and adolescent girls (ages 11-14) and the other on parents and adolescent boys in the same age range. The objective of these investigations is to develop and evaluate a mobile web app to encourage HPV vaccination in New Mexico, an ethnically-diverse state. Current ongoing randomized controlled efficacy trials with parents and their adolescent children in New Mexico clinics provide data to determine the impact of these mobile web apps on informed decision making and uptake for the HPV vaccine.

Dr. Woodall participated in a panel session entitled “Uses of New Technologies in HPV Vaccine Behavioral Science Research.” He gave a presentation on the design, development, and testing of the innovative Vacteens web app. New technologies and social networking sites like this can be used to understand sources of information and misinformation about HPV vaccination, engage parents and youth, and encourage HPV vaccination.

The progress and initial results of these ongoing research efforts will have implications for reaching HPV vaccine uptake goals set by Healthy People 2020 in the United States. Mobile web-based interventions show promise for reaching HPV vaccine uptake goals. A mobile web app can make decision-making tools widely available on popular mobile platforms such as tablet computers and smartphones, as well as personal computers.

This research was funded by grants from PCORI and the National Cancer Institute (CA210125; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator). Collaborators included Dr. Alberta Kong, Dr. Randall Starling, Dr. Lance Chilton, and Dr. Tamar Ginossar from the University of New Mexico; Dr. Greg Zimet from Indiana University; and Dr. David Buller and Jeanny Reither from KB. 


Dr. W. Gill Woodall and Jeanny Reither from Klein Buendel
INSIGHTS ON HPV VACCINATION FROM MOTHERS’ COMMENTS ON FACEBOOK POSTS IN A RANDOMIZED TRIAL

INSIGHTS ON HPV VACCINATION FROM MOTHERS’ COMMENTS ON FACEBOOK POSTS IN A RANDOMIZED TRIAL

HPV vaccine uptake among adolescent girls in the United States remains below the national goal of 80%. Parent decisions to vaccinate daughters can be impeded by confusion, uncertainty, and misinformation about the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel (KB) presented an analysis of mothers’ beliefs about vaccinating their adolescent daughters for HPV at the Eurogin International Multidisciplinary HPV Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, December 2-5, 2018.

Mothers with adolescent daughters from 34 states (n=880) were recruited to participate in a randomized controlled trial evaluating a social media campaign on adolescent health. The mothers’ beliefs were expressed in comments to posts on HPV vaccination in a social media campaign on adolescent health. Participants were recruited through Qualtrics survey panels or local efforts at the Tennessee study site. Eligibility criteria were: having a daughter aged 14-17, living in one of 34 states without a complete ban on indoor tanning for minors, using a Facebook account 1+ times a week, being able to read English, consenting to participate, completing the baseline survey, and willing to join the Facebook group. The campaign, implemented through Facebook private groups, included posts on HPV vaccination, as one of seven general health topics. The experimental manipulation varied posts on indoor tanning versus prescription drug abuse prevention. Posts on HPV vaccination and reactions and comments from mothers were extracted.

Mothers had a mean age of 43.1 years; 6.5% were Hispanic and 86.6% white; and 63.1% reported that their daughter had been vaccinated for HPV (17.8% receiving two shots and 31.5% three shots). HPV vaccination posts received on average 1.3 reactions and 3.3 comments from mothers. Comments often formed a dialogue among mothers. More than half of the comments (52.8%) were favorable, indicating that the daughter had been vaccinated and HPV vaccination reduced mothers’ anxiety, HPV infection rates, and related disease risk. However, 45.3% were unfavorable, citing safety concerns, lack of efficacy, unknown long-term consequences, inappropriate age for the vaccine, apprehension by other mothers, fears of vaccine tampering, lack of physician support, and sexual activity issues (for example, plans to wait until daughter becomes sexually active or using vaccine to guard against unprotected sex). Some commented, mostly favorably, on the need to vaccinate boys.

Facebook comments indicated both support for and resistance to HPV vaccination by mothers in the United States. Reasons for not vaccinating girls were similar to barriers expressed in other research and reflected negative media coverage of HPV vaccination. Effective strategies are needed in social media to counter misinformation on and resistance to HPV vaccines.

This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Dr.Barbara Walkosz and Julia Berteletti from KB; Dr. Sherry Pagoto and Jessica Oleski from the University of Connecticut, and Dr. Katie Baker from East Tennessee State University.

Eurogin is one of the most important conferences in the world on HPV infection and related cancers. The international gathering examines public health, health services, screening, and prevention of HPV-induced cancers.

Developing and Testing E-Training to Enhance Care of Aged and Dying Prisoners

Developing and Testing E-Training to Enhance Care of Aged and Dying Prisoners

Klein Buendel (KB) collaborator, Susan Loeb, PhD, RN, described the development and testing of computer-based training for corrections staff on caring for aged and dying prisoners in a poster she presented at the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). The conference was held in Las Vegas, NV from October 20-24, 2018.

The Enhancing Care of the Aged and Dying in Prisons (ECAD-P) training program is a collaboration between KB and Penn State University. The research team, which includes KB Senior Scientist, Dr. Valerie Myers and KB’s Creative Team, built upon electronic file training materials that had been developed at Penn State University, and transformed them into interactive computer-based training that is relevant to a broad spectrum of correctional staff.

Approaches employed in an earlier phase of this research included: (a) engagement with an Expert Advisory Board, including representatives from corrections, geriatrics, and hospice; (b) a Community Advisory Board constituted by corrections officials and returning citizens; (c) an environmental scan conducted with corrections training officers and information technology staff; (d) a modified Delphi survey with geriatric and corrections nurses; and (e) initial in-person usability testing of an early version of three training modules. In a second phase, usability testing of six modules was conducted in a large jail in the Northeast and a State Correctional Institution in the Midwest.

Analytic approaches employed throughout this research included content analysis, geriatric content identification, and acceptability, feasibility, and usability evaluation using qualitative observation approaches and the System Usability Scale. The Phase I study established proof of concept, produced three prototypical modules, a drafted a detailed specifications document for full program development in Phase II. Phase II included refinement of Phase I learning modules and development of three additional modules. Phase II assessments showed that the program is acceptable, feasible, and usable in corrections.

The NCCHC poster concluded that correctional settings across the United States face growing demands to better address the health care and management needs of aged, chronically ill, and dying inmates. The ECAD-P computer-based training holds promise to contribute to better preparation of correctional staff to effectively care for these populations.

This research was funded by a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to KB from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (AG049570; Dr. Susan Loeb and Dr. Valerie Myers, Multiple Principal Investigators). Collaborators/coauthors in addition to Dr. Loeb and Dr. Myers include Dr. Erin Kitt-Lewis from the Penn State University College of Nursing.