Introduction: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a critical development in HIV prevention, yet females at risk of contracting HIV have lower rates of PrEP use compared to their male counterparts. Insufficient knowledge on PrEP indications for women has been a key…
Introduction: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a critical development in HIV prevention, yet females at risk of contracting HIV have lower rates of PrEP use compared to their male counterparts. Insufficient knowledge on PrEP indications for women has been a key barrier in health care providers (HCP) utilization of PrEP in this population. Prior research has revealed educational interventions improved providers’ use of PrEP in at risk populations.
Methods: A 1-hour, educational session was developed for eleven HCPs at a university-based clinic. The educational session was guided by the Cognitive Learning Theory and included information on clinical practice guidelines for PrEP implementation in women. The effects of the intervention were analyzed using a pre/post-survey design, with post surveys delivered at two and eight weeks. The 16-item survey evaluated outcomes including provider discussion and prescription rates of PrEP with female patients and perceived knowledge and perceptions of PrEP in women, utilizing a Likert scale. All procedures were given exempt status by the university IRB.
Results: Paired sample t tests were used to analyze provider reported conversations and prescription rates, while matched ordinal data were analyzed utilizing Wilcoxon signed rank tests and descriptive statistics. At two-weeks post intervention there was a significant increase in provider’s reported likelihood of prescribing to at risk cis gender females in the next six months (Mdn= 2 [pre-survey], Mdn = 3 [post-survey], α= 0.05, V = 0.00, z = -2.53, p = .011). At eight weeks postintervention, there was a statistically significant decrease in provider’s beliefs that HIV risk assessment was an essential component of a primary care visit for female patients (Mdn = 3.00 [pre], Mdn = 2.00 [eight-week], α= 0.05, V = 10.00, z = -2, p = .046). The results of the data analysis have been shared with the leadership team of the health clinic and used to inform future practice on provider educational sessions on PrEP.
Conclusion: Women at risk of contracting HIV are a key demographic missed for the utilization of PrEP. Limited statistically significant findings from the intervention have prompted further research to focus on interventions that promote long-term behavior change and improve providers implementation practices of the preventive measure in at-risk female identifying patients.