Targeting the Rebellion: Cancer Prevention through Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Education of College Students

Presentation: A012
Topic: Education / Care Delivery
Type: Poster
Date:
Session:
Authors: Brette C Harding, MD, MS1; Danielle Mintzlaff2; Tabitha Galloway, MD1
Institution(s): 1University of Missouri - Columbia, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery; 2University of Missouri


Importance:

Human Papilloma Virus related Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HPV OPSCCa) has become the most common cause of OPSCCa, and the most common cause of HPV related cancers.  The Gardasil-9 vaccine against HPV has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of HPV OPSCCa.  Despite this, less than 50% of adolescents in the United States are fully vaccinated against this virus.


Objective:

To develop a cancer prevention program targeted toward college students to increase the rates of HPV vaccination in this population.

Design, Setting, and Participants: The cancer center at a tertiary academic hospital partnered with college wellness peer educators.  A lecture on HPV related cancers and prevention with vaccination was developed, advertised for on campus, and was delivered on campus to an audience of college students. 

Methods: Initial education was provided to peer wellness educators, and advertisement was developed with their assistance that would be attractive and effective for college students.  A lecture was given to college students on campus.  A pre- and post-test was provided at the beginning and end of the lecture via QR code to evaluate usefulness and effectiveness.

Results: Forty-six students attended the lecture.  One-third (32.6%) of attendees were either not vaccinated, or unsure of their vaccine status.  Only Two-thirds (67.4%) of the attendees knew that HPV could cause cancer.  After the lecture, 100% of attendees knew that HPV can cause cancer, and 100% also knew that HPV related cancers can be prevented.  Of those who were unvaccinated, 74.4% reported that they planned to get vaccinated against the disease as a result of the lecture.

Conclusions: Educational lectures on HPV vaccination can be an effective means of cancer prevention in the college student population.