Engaging parents and schools improves uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: Examining the role of the public health nurse
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BACKGROUND: Nova Scotia has the highest rate of cervical cancer in Canada, and most of these cases are attributed to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). In 2007, Gardasil(®) was approved and implemented in a successful school-based HPV immunization program. Little is known, however, which strategies (if any) used within a school-based program help to improve vaccine uptake. METHODS: A retrospective, exploratory correlation study was conducted to examine the relationship between school-based strategies and uptake of HPV vaccine. Data was analyzed through Logistic regression, using PASW Statistics 17 (formerly SPSS 17). RESULTS: HPV vaccine initiation was significantly associated with Public Health Nurses providing reminder calls for: consent return (p=0.017) and missed school clinic (p=0.004); HPV education to teachers (p<0.001), and a thank-you note to teachers (p<0.001). Completion of the HPV series was associated with vaccine consents being returned to the students' teacher (p=0.003), and a Public Health Nurse being assigned to a school (p=0.025). CONCLUSIONS: These findings can be used to help guide school-based immunization programs for optimal uptake of the HPV vaccine among the student population.
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