A majority of high school seniors had a basic knowledge of human papillomavirus (HPV) and understood the benefits of the HPV vaccine after a 30-minute educational session, according to data presented at the 2017 national conference of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

Cassandra Garcia, MSN, RN, FNP-BC and Sanghamitra Misra, MD, Academic General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine sought to educate twelfth grade students about HPV and its consequences. They measured the impact of one 30-minute lecture about HPV and the HPV vaccine on the students’ knowledge of HPV and their likelihood to receive the HPV vaccine.

A total of 244 high school seniors (117 female) received an evidence-based, 30-minute lecture from a nurse practitioner. Female and male students were educated separately. The students completed a survey before and after the educational session which addressed their knowledge of HPV, the HPV vaccine, and their willingness to receive the vaccine.

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Before the lecture, only 26% of the students understood what HPV was. Of the 74% of students who did not know what HPV was, 94% understood after the lecture.

The researchers found that 91% of students who had received the HPV vaccine before the session stated that they were likely to receive further doses of the vaccine. In addition, 67% of students who had never received the vaccine stated that they were likely to receive the vaccine after the session. Among those who were unsure if they received the vaccine, 91% indicated that they would receive the vaccine after the session.

Overall, the results showed that after the educational session, 95% of the high school seniors understood what HPV was and understood the benefit of the vaccine, and 86% were likely to receive the vaccine.

“In this time of increasing vaccine refusal by parents, educating seniors appears to be a promising way to increase HPV vaccination rates,” the authors concluded.


  1. Garcia C, Misra S. Introductory HPV education to optimize HPV vaccination rates in high risk high school seniors in Houston, Texas. Abstract TH-23. Presented at the national conference of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners; March 16-19, 2017; Denver.