Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines can significantly reduce the burden of HPV-associated cancers, but remain underutilized. We evaluated a multi-component, system-level intervention to improve HPV vaccination in a large Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves a primarily low income Latino population.
From January 2015 through March 2017, we evaluated the effectiveness of a multi-component, system-level intervention to improve HPV vaccination rates in eight clinics randomly assigned to study condition (four intervention, four usual care). The intervention included parent reminders for HPV vaccine series completion, provider training, clinic-level audit and feedback, and workflow modifications to reduce missed opportunities for vaccination. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we compared HPV vaccination rates among patients, ages 11 to 17 during a 12-month preintervention period and a 15-month intervention period. Linear mixed models were used to estimate intervention effects on vaccine initiation and completion.
The sample included approximately 15,000 adolescents each quarter (range 14,773–15,571; mean age 14 years; 51% female, 88% Latino). A significantly greater quarterly increase in HPV vaccine initiation was observed for intervention compared with usual care clinics (0.75 percentage point greater increase, P < 0.001), corresponding to 114 additional adolescents vaccinated per quarter. The intervention led to a greater increase in HPV vaccine completion rates among boys (0.65 percentage point greater increase, P < 0.001), but not girls.
Our system-level intervention was associated with modest improvements in HPV vaccine initiation overall and completion among boys.
Study findings have implications for reducing HPV-related cancers in safety net populations.