OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to evaluate a specifically designed hepatitis
B education/promotion curriculum package as part of a successful hepatitis
B vaccination delivery system to adolescents.
METHODS: A randomised-controlled trial was used to evaluate the effect of t
he curriculum package (or intervention) on uptake of vaccine. Schools were
randomly selected from the metropolitan region of Melbourne to intervention
(66 schools or 7,588 students) or control groups (69 schools or 9,823 stud
ents). Class teachers administered the intervention to students over 4 clas
s periods before the vaccination course.
RESULTS: The difference in mean school uptake between intervention and cont
rol was small at 1-2% per dose. 95% confidence intervals around the differe
nces were -5% to 2% per dose and not significant. Intervention schools taug
ht an average of 7 items out of 12 from the curriculum package. Immunisatio
n rates increased by 4-10% per dose between low and high implementation sch
ools, but this trend was not significant. Impact evaluation demonstrated si
gnificantly greater knowledge of hepatitis B and vaccination among students
in the intervention than the control group.
CONCLUSION: Hepatitis B vaccination of preadolescents was not increased by
the implementation of a curriculum package that successfully increased know
ledge and awareness of hepatitis B in a school-based vaccination program. A
dditional strategies directed at the education of parents, the cooperative
role of schools and pro-active providers might also be required to maximise
vaccine uptake in this age group.