- Patient education videos delivered inside the clinic or doctor’s office can help increase the number of patients accessing certain vaccinations or other preventive care services, according to new data from the Regenstrief Institute.
The study, conducted in partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at UIPUI, specifically looked at the impact of patient education videos on the number of adolescent patients opting into the HPV vaccination series.
About 80 percent of all sexually active people will be infected with some strain of the HPV virus in their lives, the researchers said, citing CDC statistics. The HPV vaccine has proven enormously effective at preventing the HPV virus from causing certain types of cancer.
Those facts and numerous public health initiatives notwithstanding, only about half of all adolescents have completed the vaccine series, per CDC numbers.
Patient education videos that underscore those benefits and employ key patient motivation techniques can increase the number of patients opting into that preventive care, according to the research team, headed by Brian Dixon, PhD, director of Public Health Informatics at Regenstrief Institute and the UI Fairbanks School of Public Health.
“These results are very promising for those concerned with public health,” Dixon, who is also an associate professor at IU Fairbanks, said in a statement. “If we can educate patients/caregivers at the doctor’s office, where they can take immediate action for their health, we can ensure more eligible patients receive the HPV vaccine, potentially saving lives as well as healthcare dollars spent on treating disease.”
The researchers looked nearly 1,600 patients ages 11 to 17 who had not yet begun the vaccination series at participating intervention sites. About one-third of those patients had a doctor’s appointment during the 7-month study period and had the opportunity to view the educational videos.
After the study period, 64 percent of patients who had viewed the videos began receiving the HPV vaccination series, while only 50 percent of those who did not view the video did the same.
Having a parent or guardian view the video alongside the adolescent also made a difference. Patients who viewed educational videos with their parents were 78 percent more likely to opt into the HPV vaccination series than those who did not.
Viewing the patient education videos inside of the clinic likely made a positive impact, Dixon said. By reviewing the benefits of the vaccination in a location where a patient can immediately receive the vaccination, clinicians closed a key activation gap.
While patient portal messages and other public health announcements can increase awareness about the HPV vaccination, in-clinic patient education videos make it easier for the patient to act right then and there, Dixon noted.
“These results are very promising for those concerned with public health,” Dixon explained. “If we can educate patients/caregivers at the doctor’s office, where they can take immediate action for their health, we can ensure more eligible patients receive the HPV vaccine, potentially saving lives as well as healthcare dollars spent on treating disease.”
The approach also leaves room for more patient collaboration. After learning about the HPV vaccination, patients are informed and able to initiate and engage in a conversation with their providers.
“Previous studies sought to prompt provider recommendation of the vaccine via electronic health record alerts,” Dixon explained. “This study sought to educate patients about the vaccine and prompt them to initiate a conversation with their provider. Providers listen to patients and are willing to offer their advice about vaccines when asked.”
Going forward, the researchers want to scale the patient education videos. Implementing the videos in both pediatric and family medicine clinics could increase their footprint, said Stephen Downs, MD, a paper co-author, Regenstrief scientist, the director of Children’s Health Serves Research, and the vice chair for general pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
“With better integration, we would expect even greater effects than what we observed in this study,” Downs concluded. “This method could go a long way toward improving vaccination rates.”
Regenstrief, University of Indiana School of Medicine, and UI Fairbanks completed this research through funding from the Merck-Regenstrief Collaborative, a project aimed at improving the patient experience through data analytics, healthcare innovation, education, and research.