Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Regarding Human Papilloma Virus Communication and Vaccine Advocacy Among Minnesota Dentists and Dental Hygienists

Cynthia L. Stull, Scott Lunos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Recent increases in oropharyngeal cancer (OPSCC) have been attributed to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Vaccinations for HPV have been available since 2006, however, vaccine uptake in the United States has been poor. Dental hygienists and dentists have the opportunity to increase vaccine uptake through patient education. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Minnesota dentists and dental hygienists toward conversations regarding HPV infections and vaccine advocacy.Methods: A paper survey was mailed to a random sample of dentists and dental hygienists licensed in the state of Minnesota. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data. Two group t-tests or analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare mean knowledge and attitude scores between question responses. Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated for the knowledge and attitude scores.Results: The overall response rate was 21% (dentists n= 750; dental hygienists n=750). Less than half (44%) of the respondents discuss risk factors for oropharyngeal cancer with their patients, and fewer than one quarter (21%) specifically discuss HPV as a risk factor. HPV vaccination was discussed by 9% of the respondents. Barriers to patient education on HPV included discomfort in sensitive conversations (66%) and feeling unqualified (35%). Over three fourths (80%) of the respondents were in favor of receiving training regarding HPV discussions.Conclusion: Barriers preventing dental providers from discussing the HPV with patients, included a lack of knowledge and discomfort in discussing a sexually transmitted infection. Minnesota dentists and hygienists are interested in seeking guidance, including communication tools to discuss HPV infections and the HPV vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dental hygiene : JDH
Volume93
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Keywords

  • HPV vaccine
  • human papilloma virus
  • oropharyngeal cancer
  • sexually transmitted infections

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Regarding Human Papilloma Virus Communication and Vaccine Advocacy Among Minnesota Dentists and Dental Hygienists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this