Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Preventing cervical cancer among US Latinas: HPV infection, HPV vaccine education, and HPV vaccine knowledge
by Kepka, Deanna L., Ph.D., University of Washington, 2010, 106; 3424280
Abstract (Summary)

Latinas have more than a 1.5-fold increased cervical cancer incidence and mortality compared to non-Hispanic white women. To prevent cervical cancer, the Centers for Disease Control recommends the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for females at ages 11 and 12 years, though it is approved for females aged 9 – 26.

Investigation of socio-behavioral characteristics that relate to heightened risk for HPV infection among Latinas is needed to improve our understanding of cervical cancer risk factors among this high-risk group. One important factor that may influence risk of HPV infection is level of acculturation. With increased acculturation, Latinas are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors, thereby increasing their risk for HPV infection. This research is the first to examine the relationship between acculturation and genital HPV infection in a nationally representative sample of US Latinas using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004.

Furthermore, few culturally tailored Spanish language HPV vaccine awareness programs have been developed and evaluated. This research employs qualitative methodology to develop a radionovela to heighten HPV and HPV vaccine knowledge and interest among Latino parents in rural Washington. Using a mini-drama format that includes dialogues between a Latina daughter, her friend, her parents, a nurse, and a pediatrician, the radionovela addresses facts and concerns about cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine and decision making processes related to vaccine uptake. A randomized pretest posttest evaluation was undertaken to assess the efficacy of the messages included in the radionovela.

This research found that higher acculturation levels relate to more frequent infection with high-risk HPV genotypes and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) among US Mexican American women. A culturally-tailored HPV education tool was developed in the form of a radionovela. In the evaluation of the impact of the messages included in the radionovela , this research found that the radionovela improved HPV and HPV vaccine knowledge and attitudes among rural Hispanic parents. Culturally-tailored strategies demonstrate strong potential for improving HPV vaccine awareness and uptake among US Latinas. Without targeted interventions to promote HPV vaccine uptake and timely cervical cancer screening activities, disparities related to cervical cancer may widen.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thompson, Beti
School: University of Washington
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-B 71/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Public health, Health education
Keywords: Cervical cancer, HPV infection, HPV vaccine, Mortality, US Latinas
Publication Number: 3424280
ISBN: 978-1-124-23277-5
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