Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (December 1, 2020) – More than 90 percent of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers could be prevented by widespread uptake of the HPV vaccine. Yet, vaccine use in the United States falls short of public health goals.

In an article in JMIR Nursing, researchers explain how they applied user-centered design principles to develop a mobile health (mhealth) app to improve HPV vaccine uptake and how its use was evaluated with parents and parent-adolescent dyads. The app — Vaccipack — is exclusively focused on adolescent vaccines and targets key parental beliefs related to HPV vaccines. The mhealth app 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.

The study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) evaluated the acceptability of and intention to use the app. It found that intention to use the app was high among both parents and adolescents after being introduced to the app and given time explore it.

“Theory-based content design, although standard practice in behavioral intervention research, has not been a typical approach adopted by app developers,” says  Anne M. Teitelman, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, Associate Professor Emerita of Nursing at Penn 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.” Teitelman is the lead investigator of the study and among the developers of the app.

The article, “Vaccipack, A Mobile App to Promote Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Uptake Among Adolescents Aged 11 to 14 Years: Development and Usability Study” is available online.

Coauthors of the article include Joshua Jayasinghe, BSN, PhD; Ja H. Koo1, BSN; and Annet Davis, RN, MSW, all of Penn Nursing; Emily F. Gregory MD, MHS and Kristen A. Feemster, MD, MPH, MSHP, both of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Zara Wermers of xTufts University; Jennifer F. Morone, RN, MA-ATR, PhD of Yale University; and Damien C. Leri, MPH, MS-Ed of Big Yellow Star, Inc. Funding for the study was provided by the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) of the University of Pennsylvania,  a global leader in basic, translational, clinical, and population science research for the advancement of cancer care. The mission of the ACC is to embody a “science-driven, patient-focused” comprehensive cancer center. 


About the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of the world’s leading schools of nursing. For the fifth year in a row, it is ranked the #1 nursing school in the world by QS University and is consistently ranked highly in the U.S. News & World Report annual list of best graduate schools. Penn Nursing is currently ranked # 1 in funding from the National Institutes of Health, among other schools of nursing, for the third consecutive year. Penn Nursing prepares nurse scientists and nurse leaders to meet the health needs of a global society through innovation in research, education, and practice. Follow Penn Nursing on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Instagram.  


Journal Link: JMIR Nursing