Vielot awarded Merck grant for study to help increase rate of HPV vaccinations

Family Medicine Assistant Professor Nadja Vielot, PhD, was awarded a grant from Merck for a one-year study with the overreaching goal of increasing the rate of HPV vaccinations. The study, improving HPV vaccine uptake using electronic medical record data and clinician insights, looks to characterize how vaccine refusal is documented by clinicians, and to explore providers’ attitudes and potential barriers towards documenting vaccine refusal.

Knowing that HPV is a significant factor in causing cervical cancer presents an important opportunity to increase vaccination rates. Improving the way providers communicate with patients is key, as a provider’s strong recommendation is the #1 motivator for getting vaccines. Results of the study will ultimately identify opportunities for clinicians to improve communication with HPV vaccine-hesitant adolescents and caregivers, and ultimately increase HPV vaccine uptake.

“This is an exciting opportunity to assess whether detailed documentation of vaccine refusal enables health care providers to have more focused and decisive conversations about HPV vaccination at future visits” Vielot said. “This evidence can inform clinic policies around provider communication with vaccine-hesitant patients and caregivers, including how to have productive conversations that ultimately encourage HPV vaccine uptake.”

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