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A Learning Health System Approach to Increasing Human Papillomavirus Immunizations Among Young Adults

INTRODUCTION Immunization rates against the human papillomavirus (HPV) remain suboptimal in the young adult population. Little is known about the most effective means for encouraging vaccination in this population. METHODS The authors conducted a clinical trial of 3 methods to encourage HPV vaccination in a large Northern California integrated Health Plan. Young adults aged 18-26 with evidence of insufficient HPV vaccination were sent a bulk secure message from the Health Plan (standard outreach); those who did not respond were randomized to no further outreach, a second, personalized secure message from a specific practitioner, or a letter mailed to their home. The primary outcome was receipt of at least 1 HPV vaccine within 3 months following the initial bulk secure message. RESULTS In total, 7718 young adults were randomized. After 3 months, 86 patients (3.5%) who received no additional outreach obtained an immunization, compared with 114 (4.6%) who received the second secure message (p = 0.05) and 126 (5.1%) who received the mailed letter (p = 0.006). DISCUSSION Supplemental mailed or personalized electronic messages increased vaccination beyond no additional intervention, although gains were not clinically meaningful. These findings highlight the need for more successful alternatives to encourage uptake of such preventive health interventions among young adults. The successful conduct of this rapid-cycle, randomized trial showed that such evaluations are feasible, providing actionable data to inform implementation strategies. CONCLUSIONS Further study is needed to identify effective strategies for improving preventive health uptake in this important and underserved population. Rapid-cycle randomized evaluation strategies can provide critical information to focus efforts for achieving this goal.

Authors: Khan, Adnan A;Tran, Nicole H;Lai, Janet A;Wang, Kevin H;Lee, Juliane;Avins, Andrew L;Eaton, Abigail

Perm J. 2023 Jun 15;27(2):31-36. Epub 2023-05-24.

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