206501 Human Papillomavirus and American Indians: Policies, decision-making strategies, and parental awareness

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Felicia Schanche Hodge, DrPH , School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Kathryn Coe, PhD , University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Information on parental illness beliefs, awareness, and level of consent for their child's HPV vaccination was investigated among urban American Indians in Arizona. A survey was conducted among American Indian parents of young girls between the ages of 6-18 years. Administered at the local Indian hospital and in urban Indian centers, 151 adults participated (109 females and 42 males). Despite recent media news coverage and a high prevalence of HPV and genital warts in the American Indian population, a large percentage of the study parents had never heard of, or knew little about HPV (80.8%). Although the spread of HPV and genital warts was largely attributed to sexual transmission, 30% did not know how the HPV virus was transmitted and 18% did not know how genital warts can be passed to others. Beliefs that casual contact through hand shakes, kissing, toilet seats and coughing transmit the disease were shared. Decision-making was described as a family matter, as parents may need to consult grandparents or others. Physicians and nurses were the preferred source of information and classes for family groups rather than individuals. There is a clear need for clinics to be offering educational programs to American Indian families on this topic.

Understanding the level of knowledge and illness beliefs of Indian parents enhances patient-provider communication and assists in the planning, development of policies, and delivery of educational services. Implementing educational programs on HPV should follow a culturally sensitive approach by providing information to family groupings.

Learning Objectives:
(1) To better understand American Indian illness beliefs and HPV levels of knowledge. (2) To identify policy and decision-making strategies for implementing HPV vaccination programs.

Keywords: Public Policy, American Indians

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Conceived of research, designed research, gathered data, wrote report.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.