Examining the Role of HPV Communication Training in the Knowledge, Attitudes, Comfort, and Confidence of Dental Hygiene Students

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Abstract

Purpose: Human papillomavirus-positive oropharyngeal cancer (HPV-OPC) is the most common HPV-associated cancer. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of a curriculum that utilized brief motivational interviewing (BMI) strategies on the knowledge, attitudes, comfort, and confidence of dental hygiene students regarding communication about HPV.Methods: Junior and senior dental hygiene (DH) and dental therapy (DT) students participated in this retrospective study. Senior students (n=26) were assigned to the control group while junior students (n=31) were assigned to the intervention group. Both groups completed an online HPV education module. The intervention group was trained in BMI techniques for communication on HPV while the control group did not receive any additional guidance. Both groups were required to have HPV discussions with two patients. Pre-test/post-test questionnaires were administered via an online software program for each patient encounter. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data.Results: Thirty-one intervention group and 26 control group participants completed the pre- and post-test quizzes and questionnaires. While knowledge improved for both groups from pre-test to post-test one (+5.3 % correct, p=0.001) and post-test two (+3.2, p=0.04) it was not statistically significantAttitude scores were higher in the control group at post-test one (3.25 vs 3.01, p=0.07) and post-test two (3.14 vs 2.91, p=0.05). Confidence was higher in the control group at post-test one (3.16 vs 2.82, p=0.05) and post-test two (3.21 vs 2.69, p=0.006). Comfort was higher in the control group at post-test one (3.16 vs 2.56, p=0.002) but not at post-test two (2.65 vs 2.83, p=0.45).Conclusion: Results from this study suggest that dental hygiene education programs should include didactic instruction on HPV, the use of BMI strategies, as well as multiple opportunities to practice HPV related conversations to improve student knowledge, attitudes, comfort, and confidence levels. Interactive continuing education programs with a focus on HPV and BMI techniques can also assist oral health care providers in the delivery of provider-patient communication on HPV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental hygiene : JDH
Volume95
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 The American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

Keywords

  • HPV vaccine
  • brief motivational interviewing
  • communication skills
  • dental hygiene education
  • human papillomavirus
  • sexually transmitted infections

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