The development and regulatory approval of vaccines to reduce Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infections among young females (and males) represents a very important medical innovation with the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of cervical cancer among women and other cancers among men. In the United States, the policy, implementation and adoption of the HPV vaccine has been particularly complicated. As with many other medical innovations, diffusion and adoption is not always rapid and will often depend on a variety of social and cultural factors, as well as the nature of the innovation itself. Research indicates there is a great deal of 1) confusion and uncertainty about HPV vaccine and 2) concomitant misinformation about the HPV vaccine, who they are meant for, and what are the conditions under which vaccination is maximally effective. With funding from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, our team conducted a project to systematically develop a set of web-based tools to prompt the informed adoption of the HPV vaccines. Our goal was to employ Diffusion of Innovations theory and related research on Informed Decision Making (IDM) to guide the iterative development of a website to prompt informed decision making and HPV vaccine uptake among parents of young female adolescents. The presentation will demonstrate the website (GoHealthyGirls.org) and present development and early efficacy data from the study.
About the speakers
W. Gill Woodall, Ph. D., is an Emeritus Professor of Communication and Senior Research Scientist in the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions (CASAA) at the University of New Mexico, as well as a Senior Scientist at Klein Buendel, Inc. a Health Communication research firm in Golden, Colorado. He is a co-owner of Wedge Communications LLC, a health digital innovations technology transfer company. He is an experienced NIH Principal Investigator, having served as a Principal Investigator or co-Investigator on fourteen major NIH funded grant projects in the areas of drunk driving prevention, and Internet-based approaches to dietary improvement among minority rural adults, reduction of tobacco uptake among adolescents, reduction of risky alcohol consumption among college students, the development of web-based Responsible Beverage Service training in both on and off-site alcohol premises, the prevention of drug use, sexual debut and sexually transmitted disease among adolescents, and the increased adoption of HPV vaccine among early adolescent females and males. He has served as reviewer for the NIH Center for Scientific Review as a study section member and ad-hoc reviewer for over 20 years. He has served on the New Mexico Governor’s DWI Leadership Task Force. He has also published extensively in the area of Nonverbal Communication, and is a co-author of a book on Nonverbal Communication.