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Tablet-Based Patient Education Regarding Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in Colposcopy Clinic

Gockley, Allison A. MD1,2; Pena, Nancy BA, ONP-CG1,3; Vitonis, Allison ScM2,4,5; Welch, Kelly BS6; Duffey-Lind, Eileen C. RN MSN CRNP6,7; Feldman, Sarah MD, MPH1,2

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: July 2019 - Volume 23 - Issue 3 - p 188–192
doi: 10.1097/LGT.0000000000000474
Original Research Articles: Cervix and HPV

Objective The aim of this study was to use an electronic tablet–based education module to increase patient knowledge about human papillomavirus (HPV).

Methods Patients presenting to an academic colposcopy clinic were first queried as to whether they had been infected with HPV. A quality improvement project was then conducted using a 4-question pretest assessing baseline knowledge about HPV and cancer, followed by a tablet-based education module and a 5-question posttest.

Results Between June 2017 and January 2018, 119 patients participated in the tablet education. At their initial visit, only 50 (42.0%) of patients were aware that they had an HPV infection; however, medical records revealed that 74 women (62.2%) were presenting with a documented HPV infection. After the tablet education, 95% of women identified cervical cancer as a problem that can be caused by HPV, as compared with 88.2% in the pretest (p = .046). Knowledge of head and neck cancer as a disease that can be caused by HPV increased from 10.9% to 80.7% (p < .001). More patients answered that they “definitely” or “probably” would consider the vaccine for a child in their family: 108 (95.6%) pretest vs. 112 (99.1%) posttest (p = .046). The activities were ranked as “extremely” or “very” helpful by 93.3% of patients.

Conclusions Patients presenting to colposcopy clinic are not well educated regarding the connection between an abnormal Pap test, HPV infection, and certain cancers. Tablet-based education improves patient knowledge of HPV-associated cancers in an outpatient clinic setting.

1Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA;

2Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA;

3Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA;

4Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA;

5Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA;

6Team Maureen, Boston, MA; and

7Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Pediatric Oncology, Boston, MA

Reprint requests to: Allison A. Gockley, MD, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, April 18–21, 2018, Las Vegas, NV.

This study was supported by state-specific funds from the American Cancer Society. This project was approved by the Partner's Institutional Review Board.

Online date: April 10, 2019

Copyright © 2019 by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology