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Educational Interventions on Human Papillomavirus for Oral Health Providers


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention on HPV infection, HPV-related cancers and prevention modalities to improve Oral Health Care Providers (OHPs) knowledge and awareness about these topics, considering the rise of HPV-related malignancies in the USA. Educational sessions on HPV were offered to OHPs between 2016 and 2018 in the New England area. Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire both before and after each session. Responses from the pre-questionnaire were compared to those from the post-questionnaire to evaluate the effectiveness of the lectures in increasing HPV-related knowledge of the OHPs. Among 277 participants, 263 completed both the pre- and post-questionnaire. A significant improvement was observed for the following categories: epidemiology of HPV infections, HPV-related diseases, and HPV vaccination and prevention. After the educational intervention, OHPs also indicated an increased comfort level in regard to educating their patients about the importance of HPV vaccination. Educational lectures can be effective in increasing OHPs knowledge and awareness about HPV, HPV-related cancers, and vaccination. More educational sessions on HPV are needed to reach a larger number of OHPs. OHPs may be the first to identify signs and symptoms of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers. In addition, they may encourage their patients to take advantage of the HPV vaccine.

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This research was funded by a grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region.

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Correspondence to Alessandro Villa.

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Pampena, E., Vanucci, R., Johnson, L.B. et al. Educational Interventions on Human Papillomavirus for Oral Health Providers. J Canc Educ 35, 689–695 (2020).

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  • HPV
  • Oral cancer
  • Oropharyngeal cancer
  • HPV vaccination
  • Oral Health Care Providers
  • Education
  • Prevention