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Study Evaluates Role of Oral Health Professionals in Encouraging HPV Vaccination

A recent study published in the journal Vaccine: X explored the potential role of oral health professionals in identifying candidates for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, given the link between HPV and oral cancers. Conducted in Edmonton, Alberta, the study implemented a case-finding strategy in two dental offices. Over 4 weeks, 656 patients were screened, with 179 identified as vaccination candidates, representing a 20.4% yield. Despite 74.8% of patients consenting to discussions about HPV vaccination, only 16% of those who received prescriptions from dentists actually received the first vaccine dose within 6 weeks. This translated to a mere 4.5% of consenting patients ultimately receiving vaccination. The study concludes that case-finding for HPV vaccination candidates in dental offices is feasible, but the low uptake highlights the need for further intervention refinement. The findings suggest the necessity of additional strategies, such as follow-up discussions with oral health professionals, to improve vaccination rates. Overall, while dental offices hold promise as sites for HPV vaccination promotion, optimizing intervention approaches is imperative for enhancing efficacy. Click here to read more.

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