The Role of Health Information Technology in Improving Awareness of Human Papillomavirus and Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Among U.S. Adults

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Telemedicine Journal and e-Health : The Official Journal of the American Telemedicine Association


Objective: Although human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines prevent cancer-causing HPV infections and cervical precancers, there is suboptimal awareness and limited global accessibility of HPV and HPV vaccine. Emerging evidence suggests that health information technology (HIT) may influence HPV-related awareness and improve vaccine adoption. The objective of this study was to evaluate the link between HIT and HPV-related awareness Methods: Data were obtained from 1,866 U.S. adults aged 18-45 years who completed the 2017 and 2018 Health Information National Trends Survey. We conducted multivariable logistic regression to analyze the association between HIT utilization and HPV-related awareness. Results: Awareness of HPV and HPV vaccine were 72.7% and 67.5%, respectively. Participants who used electronic means to look up health information (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.05; p = 0.001), communicate with health care provider (aOR = 1.68; p = 0.026), look up test results (aOR = 1.94; p = 0.005), and track health costs (aOR = 1.65; p = 0.04) were more likely to report HPV awareness than those who did not. Participants who used an electronic device to look up health information (aOR = 3.10; p = 0.003), communicate with clinicians (aOR = 1.72; p = 0.008), look up test results (aOR = 1.63; p = 0.021), and track health care charges (aOR = 1.90; p = 0.006) were more likely to report HPV vaccine awareness than those who did not. Discussion and Conclusion: Our findings suggest a positive association between HIT utilization and HPV-related awareness. Given the rapid and exponential increase in mobile technology access globally, these results are encouraging and offer a potential opportunity to leverage digital technology in primary cancer prevention for HPV-related cancers, especially in low- and middle-income countries with unsophisticated health infrastructures.

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