More than 90% of cancers related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) including oral cancer could be prevented by widespread uptake of the HPV vaccine, according to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, though vaccine use in the United States falls short of public health goals.
Researchers at Penn Nursing applied user-centered design principles to develop a mobile health app to improve HPV vaccine uptake and evaluated its use with parents and parent-adolescent dyads.
The app, Vaccipack, is exclusively focused on adolescent vaccines and targets key parental beliefs related to HPV vaccines. It is designed for parents to use and share with their adolescents to promote the initiation and completion of the HPV vaccine series in their adolescent children.
Intention to use the app was high among both parents and adolescents after they were introduced to it and given time to explore it.
“Theory-based content design, although standard practice in behavioral intervention research, has not been a typical approach adopted by app developers,” said Anne M. Teitelman, PhD, FNC-BC, FAANP, FAAN, associate professor emerita of nursing.
“Evaluation of acceptability and likely use, as we present here, is an important preliminary step for developing apps and in designing behavioral interventions that are most likely to achieve the desired health outcome,” said Teitelman, who also was the lead investigator of the study and among the app’s developers.