Evaluating the Effectiveness of Human Papillomavirus Educational Intervention among Oral Health Professionals

  • Anubhuti ShuklaEmail author
  • Joshua Nyambose
  • Rebecca Vanucci
  • Lisa Bennett Johnson
  • Kelly Welch
  • Eileen Lind
  • Alessandro Villa


This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention that was designed to increase human papillomavirus (HPV) awareness and knowledge among oral health providers (OHPs). HPV educational lectures and a dental information toolkit on HPV were offered to OHPs in New England in 2016–2017. OHPs included dentists and dental hygienists. Post intervention surveys were distributed 1 month later. A total of 230 participants attended the educational lectures and received the toolkit. Descriptive statistics were used to compare the difference in knowledge and preparedness about HPV before and after the intervention. Eighty-nine OHPs completed the surveys. The response rate was 38.7%; however, for each question, the number of responses varied. Fifty-four (54%) (n = 26) of survey respondents were between 55 and 75 years of age with 73.5% (n = 36) being female and 55% (n = 45) working in private practice. Post intervention, 67.5% (n = 27) of the respondents felt more prepared, 82.6% (n = 38) reported clarity of their roles in educating their patients about HPV, and 91.6% (n = 44) reported an increase in knowledge about HPV. The HPV educational intervention was well received and successful at improving self-reported knowledge, comfort level, and preparedness of OHPs in discussing HPV with their patients. OHPs have the great opportunity to educate their patients about HPV and HPV vaccination. Further continuing education efforts may improve OHPs’ participation in HPV prevention.


Human papilloma virus (HPV) Oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) Oral health professionals (OHP) 



The authors would like to thank Kevin Kiang and Akshay Keerthy who helped with data collection and distribution of surveys. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral Health Policy and EpidemiologyHarvard School of Dental MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory SciencesMassachusetts Department of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Oral Medicine and DentistryBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.Team MaureenNorth FalmouthUSA
  5. 5.Division of Pediatric OncologyDana Farber Cancer CenterBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and ImmunityHarvard School of Dental MedicineBostonUSA

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