How Health Care Providers Can Use Digital Health Technologies to Inform Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Decision Making and Promote the HPV Vaccine Uptake Among Adolescents and Young Adults

Versie Johnson-Mallard, University of Florida
Gabrielle Darville, University of Georgia
Rebeccah Mercado, University of Florida
Charkarra Anderson-Lewis, University of Southern Mississippi
Jann MacInnes, University of Florida

Published by 'BioResearch Open Access' at 10.1089/biores.2018.0051.


High-risk stains of human papillomavirus (HPV) is linked to causing cancer, is highly prevalent, and has increased incidence among adolescents and young adults. However, vaccination rates are low. Health care provider recommendation is the biggest influencer toward vaccine uptake. Since more health care providers are using digital health technologies in their medical practices, this study investigated the feasibility of technology to increase informed decision making. A convenience sample of 210 students completed an online survey. Participants were 18–25 years of age (88%), female (85%), Caucasian (60%), and never been diagnosed with HPV (92.9%). Overwhelmingly, participants owned a smartphone (98.9%) and used mobile apps for health/health tracking (65.5%). However, only 29.3% indicated that they received text messages from their health care provider. Digital health technology can be a cost-effective way for increasing HPV knowledge, removing barriers, and increasing vaccine uptake. Health care providers should explore using various platforms to empower their health care decision making.