266554 Challenges of Vaccinating Hard-to-Reach Groups with the H1N1 Vaccine: A Pilot Test of the Community Health Advisor Program

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Timothy R. Jordan, PhD, MEd , Department of Public Health, College of Health Science & Human Service, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Barbara Gunning, PhD , Health Services Department, Toledo/Lucas County Health Department, Toledo, OH
Mary Ann Bell, PhD, MSN, RNC , Department of Health and Recreation Professions, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Duane Herron, MPH , Toledo-Lucas County Office of Minority Health, Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, Madison, WI
Diana Reindl, PhD, CHES , Health Education and Rehabilitaion Services, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Background:Past research indicates that a significant percentage of hard-to-reach populations do not get vaccinated for H1N1 influenza. This raises concerns about potentially dangerous scenarios for these groups during an H1N1 epidemic or pandemic.

Purpose: To pilot test and evaluate a novel grass-roots method of reaching underserved groups with the H1N1 vaccine.

Methods: A Midwestern Health Department and local university partnered to design a novel, theory-based approach to reaching under-served groups with the H1N1 vaccination. Grass-roots minority citizens were hired and trained as H1N1 Community Health Advisors (CHAs). The Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) served as the foundation for training and program materials. After training, the CHAs canvassed the community to identify hard to reach groups, meet with these groups, and present H1N1 education and the vaccine.

Results: During the brief 40-day intervention, 11 CHAs delivered 43 PMT-based presentations to 500 people (average of 12 persons per session). Of the 500 people encountered, 300 received the H1N1 vaccination on the spot (60% response rate). These vaccinations were administered to females (58%), African Americans (47%), underserved Caucasians (34%), Hispanic/Latinos (16%), and Asians (4%). The range of vaccinations administered per CHA was 0 to 56 (average of 27 vaccinations per CHA). Four of the CHAs were especially productive and accounted for 61% of all vaccines given.

Conclusion: Using members of the target population as lay Community Health Advisors helps to improve the reach and penetration of health promotion/disease prevention programs.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
After participating in this session, attendees will be able to: 1) Explain the challenges of vaccinating hard-to-reach groups with the H1N1 vaccine. 2) Describe how using members of the priority population as lay health advisors can improve the reach of health promotion/disease prevention programs.

Keywords: Communicable Disease, Community Health Advisor

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Associate Professor of Public Health and a certified Research and Evaluation Enhancement Program (REEP) evaluator for the State of Ohio Commission on Minority Health. I have presented my research and evaluation findings via the publication of 42 research articles in the scientific literature and 44 national presentations at peer-reviewed national and regional conferences. As a former Associate Director of Medical Education, I bring special expertise to community disease prevention projects.
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.