On April 4th, healthcare providers gathered at Des Moines University to hear Dr. Noel Brewer discuss communication tactics to improve provider HPV vaccination recommendations.
Dr. Brewer is a professor in the Department of Health Behavior and an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Brewer also serves as a chair of the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable, American Cancer Society.
Dr. Brewer studies the psychology of how people make risky health decisions, with his current work focusing on increasing HPV vaccination, communicating the harms of smoking, and encouraging appropriate use of screening.
During the event Dr. Brewer reviewed the latest HPV vaccination practices, showed how to build skills for effective communication, and led a demonstration of the communications approach.
The approach that has found the most success in Dr. Brewer's research is known as the "announcement approach", which shows a 5.4% increase in HPV vaccine initiation in the first three months of use. An effective demonstration of the "announcement approach" is when the providers says to a parent, "The child is due for three vaccines (including the HPV vaccine in the middle) against several diseases". If the parent hesitates, use the three C's, CONNECT, CLARIFY and COUNSEL.
When using the three C's, Dr. Brewer provided three tips to help get the message across.
Treat the HPV vaccine like other vaccines
Focus on cancer prevention
Follow-up with parents who say "no"
After Dr. Brewer's presentation, the group listened to stories of Iowans who have been through treatment for HPV associated cancers. The survivor panel included Jon Scharingson (cancer survivor), Kris Scharingson (caregiver) Matthew Scharingson (caregiver), and Morgan Newman (cancer survivor).
To hear more about the Scharingsons' story, visit Shot By Shot.org.
Scenic Rivers AHEC is involved in the HPV Immunization Education Project, in partnership with the National AHEC office and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Throughout the tri-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Scenic Rivers AHEC looks to connect with providers, healthcare professionals, and health facilities that deal directly with HPV vaccinations.