Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes an infection, which is also linked to a risk of developing a variety of cancers, and one way to prevent the harmful effects of HPV is vaccination. However, the practice of vaccination has faced a lot of pushback from people concerned with the safety of the vaccine, making it necessary to investigate the process of vaccination in detail. Grandal et al. (2017) published an article titled “School nurses’ attitudes towards and experiences of the Swedish school-based HPV vaccination program – A repeated cross-sectional study.” This article outlines the author’s research where Swedish school nurses answered questions about their perception of school-based vaccinations, difficulties they face, concerns, and their knowledge about HPV. This paper aims to critically analyze the article by Grandal et al. (2017) and determine whether the author’s conclusions and implications are valid.
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The background of this article is the mandatory school-based vaccination in Sweeden. However, the implications of the article are also useful for the United States, since the issue of vaccines and anti-vaccination protests have been the center of debate for years, especially concerning HPV vaccines. On the one hand, this vaccine can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer as a result of HPV and enable safety for the community because the virus would not spread among the vaccinated individuals. On the other hand, mandatory vaccinations have been a matter of protest because some communities believe in the harmful effects of the vaccines and the violation of civil liberties as a result of mandatory vaccination. Therefore, this research helps one understand the issues that nurses at school face as a result of school-based vaccinations, concerns of the parents, and other implications that can help develop a cohesive practice of school-based vaccinations.
The purpose of this article is to outline the research on the views on HPV vaccination assessed by school nurses in Sweeden. The state made this type of vaccination mandatory in 2013 and the authors wanted to examine the views of nurses who are responsible for the process of vaccination, compare their answers to the results of a similar study conducted in 2013, and ask them about any concerns or issues they faced (Grandal et al., 2017). Mainly, since health providers play a very important role in enabling the vaccination process, this study helps one understand the factors that impact widespread vaccination.
The main argument that the authors present is that nurses who administer school-based HPV vaccines in Sweeden have an overall favorable view of this practice. In the concluding paragraph, Grandal et al. (2017) state, “school nurses had more favourable attitudes towards the vaccination programme and perceived less barriers compared with 2013” (p. 8). However, the authors point out one major issue – the lack of education enabled by policymakers that would help these nurses gain more knowledge about the HPV vaccinations. Therefore, in this article, the authors argue for a need to provide additional education and training to healthcare providers responsible for HPV vaccinations.
In general, the research presents convincing arguments because the authors collected data from a diverse range of schools, located in different regions of Sweeden, both rural and urban, presenting a good research sample. Apart from being convincing, the article’s findings are applicable because they can be used to design a school-based vaccination program. One can conclude that this research is very helpful, considering the recent debate about the need to implement widespread HPV vaccination to achieve herd immunity. Apart from HPV dangers, lack of vaccinations has recently caused an outbreak of measles, posing a question of how the government and medical professionals should address these preventable conditions. Therefore, the findings of this research are useful both for medical professionals and for policymakers because they suggest a need to invest in more education for the employees who will be responsible for the vaccinations. In this way, they will have more confidence in their knowledge and will be able to address any concerns or questions from parents or their patients, helping to achieve the herd immunity for HPV.
The strength of this article is the comparison to a study conducted by the same authors, with questionnaires distributed to nurses asking their opinions on HPV vaccinations in 2013, prior to the implementation of the program. Additionally, the methodology that the authors use help explore the problem of vaccinations in great detail. The cross-sectional design allows the authors to make a comparison to the nurses’ responses from the research conducted three years prior, tracking any changes in the attitudes and understanding whether any of the previous concerns were addressed.
This article raises the issues of global vaccination as a result of an increasing number of HPV cases and vaccine-related hesitancy, which is an important problem. However, the authors avoid discussing the problems of the anti-vaccination community in their article. Perhaps, this is connected to the lack of such protests in Sweeden, unlike the United States. Although the authors mention the need for a widespread vaccination to mitigate the spread of HPV and anti-vaccine hesitancy, Grandal et al. (2017) do not discuss the issue of people rejecting vaccinations due to concerns, which would make the article more useful.
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To sum up, this paper critically examined the article that outlines research on the topic of nurses’ attitudes towards HPV vaccination. The research by Grandal et al. (2017) helps understand the difficulties that medical professionals face when having to administer HPV vaccines since vaccinations are an important way of preventing the spread of HPV and cancers associated with it. The study’s cross-sectional design also helps understand the concerns and issues that these providers had in 2013 and any changes that were made.
Grandahl. M., Larsson. M., Tydén. T., & Stenhammar, C. (2017). School nurses’ attitudes towards and experiences of the Swedish school-based HPV vaccination programme – A repeated cross sectional study. PLOS ONE 12(4), e0175883. Web.