HPV Vaccination for Cancer Prevention
HPV Vaccination for Cancer Prevention
Working with the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), the goal of our project is to increase the HPV vaccination rate in Allegheny County. HPV vaccine could protect people from getting HPV-related cancer. It has been invented for almost ten years and gains huge success around the world. However, the vaccinate rate is still relative low in United States. Due to political issue, making this vaccine be mandate is not an option in current stage. Our team need to come out a plan to increase vaccination rate from bottom-up approach.
Goal: Come out with a proposal for ACHD to promote HPV vaccination in Allegheny County
Skills: Illustrator, After Effects, InDesign, Storyboarding, Interview
Type: 4-week group project with Gray Crawford
Visual Communication Fundamental | Fall 2016 | Instructor: Andrew Twigg
Before come out with any solution, we need to have further understanding about this topic. Our research focus on four perspectives:
Scientific facts about HPV
- What is HPV?
- How does it transmit?
- How does it cause cancer?
- How do you know you are infected?
- How to treat it?
Statistic data about HPV-related cancer
- How many cases of HPV-related cancer each year?
- What is the survival rate of HPV-related cancers?
- What is the treatment of HPV-related cancers?
- HPV-related cancer in different demographic groups.
HPV vaccines and successful campaigns
- How does the vaccine protect us from getting HPV-related cancer?
- What is the standard procedure to get vaccinated?
- What is the side effect?
- What is the best age to get vaccinated?
- Successful campaign around the world.
- Negative news around the world.
After research, we have noticed that the situation of HPV and HPV vaccine is quite different from any other vaccines in several perspectives.
- The HPV is not deadly. Most of time, people got no symptoms at all and eventually cure by their immune system. In fact, vaccine protect us from getting HPV and then consequently reduce the chance of getting HPV-related cancer. Thus it is harder to commute the cause-and-effect of HPV to people.
- HPV is a sexually transmitted diseases which means sometimes it is hard for doctors to actively suggest it and also raises extra concern from parents.
- Standard procedure of vaccination requires 3 doses (now CDC officially recommends to 2) within 6-month period which is huge barrier to finish the vaccinated procedure.
- Since it is a relative new vaccine in the market, safety is still the major concern. For this part, it is similar to other vaccines in human history. Time should be the ultimate solution but we should not expect it.
Based on these observations, we start to think about why current solution is not working or is there any better way to improve current solutions?
After understand HPV and its vaccine, we turned our focus on existing solution of promoting vaccination. Although Allegheny county had lower vaccination rate comparing to nearby places, it is not a single case at all. There are many places around the world have lower vaccination rate. As a result, official organizations are still promoting it. We have found many existing solutions out there. After searching through, we classify them into two categories:
- Tool kit for three main stakeholders including doctors, parents and pre-teens.
- Fact sheets and clarification about HPV vaccines.
Stakeholder Problem for Vaccination
After making up the stakeholder map, we found out all current solutions focus on the parents themselves since they are decision maker in this map. They all want the best for their children and at the same time be frighten by negative news and reports. Current solutions focus on clarifying that negative information and simplify the information about HPV and vaccine. However, we think it is hard to persuade people with statistical numbers and data. It hard to convince these parents that this vaccine is “statistically” safe. People don’t like to make decisions with uncertainty.
Reframing the Problem
After brainstorming about different solutions, we further think about different target groups and end up with freshmen which is the best way to solve our decision-maker problem.
- We check HPV vaccination instruction from CDC. It suggests female up to 26 and male up to 21 should get vaccinated which our new target is feasible.
- We check current status of health insurance among freshmen and make sure every student could get vaccinated for free.
- Since college students should be around campus every day, school health service should be easier to access. 3-dose procedure should not be a problem.
- Last and most important one, freshmen could make their own decision. Although the uncertainty still exists, they make their own decision to protect themselves. It is not just previous situation that parents make the decision and children suffer the result.
Targeting on Freshmen
After thorough research, we had decided to target on freshmen. Although the best timing for HPV vaccine is 10-12 pre-teenagers (before their first sexual encounter), this vaccine is still effective in the age group of freshmen. Freshmen as independent invidivual could make their own decision which help us avoid complicated stakeholders problem and school health service is more accessible comparing to other health service provider in high school. To make freshmen get vaccinated, we came out with a three-stage process
Our team do interviews with freshmen on campus and get some results.
- Most of them are not familiar with HPV and ask for further information.
- Most male students think HPV is irrelevant to them.
- One girl got vaccinated during high school but when she tried to persuade her friends, they didn’t believe it.
- One student had all required vaccines suggested by school health service. Unfortunately, HPV is not in the required list. We found out that most of students lack of awareness and information about HPV vaccine but they do believe in information from authority such as school health services.
School Health Service
We also check university health service websites around Allegheny county. In vaccination page, most of the websites do mention that they provide HPV vaccine service but no further promotion or information about it. They also list out the price of vaccine (which is quite expensive) but actually most of the health insurance cover the cost. We think there is huge improvement could be done in this part.
Storyboard with Script
Because HPV is a sexual transmitted virus, we considered many different approach to explain in the video that will be played during orientation. Eventually, we decided to have a straightforward and scientific documentary visual language. Below are some of our references.