269694 Use of Community Health Advisors to Increase HPV Knowledge and Awareness

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tara Davis, MSPH , UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Mountain Brook, AL
Tina Simpson, MD, MPH , UAB General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Yu-Mei Schoenberger, PhD, MPH , Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Allison Litton, DrPH, MSW , Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Mirjam-Colette Kempf, PhD, MPH , School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Renee Desmond, PhD , Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Background: Peer education programs have been used successfully to educate youth on health issues. The purpose of this study is to utilize teen community health advisors (CHAs) to increase human papilloma virus (HPV) knowledge and awareness. Methods: The UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) partnered with a local high school to implement the Teen CHA program. MHRC staff worked with the school's principals, counselors, health instructors, and nurse to recruit 9th-12th grade students who were (1) considered as role models; (2) viewed as non-judgmental; and (3) representative of peers in relation to risk taking behavior. Twenty-six students were recruited; 19 consented and completed CHA training. The training consisted of an evidence-based pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease prevention curriculum for basic sexual health information and an investigator-developed HPV curriculum. CHAs were encouraged to incorporate HPV education into their peer interactions and to develop school activities to increase HPV knowledge and awareness. Program evaluation includes: pre and post test surveys assessing sexual risk behaviors and HPV knowledge and vaccination status of the CHAs and the student population, training evaluations, and encounter logs. Results: Evaluation, to date, has shown that participants prefer role plays as a tool to receive and deliver sexual health education; CHAs are willing to track encounters regarding sexual health communication; and teens frequently communicate about sexual health topics via text messaging and internet chats. Conclusion: The teen CHA model appears to be a promising tool to increase HPV knowledge and awareness.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the recruitment, training and implementation processes for a teen community health advisor (CHA) program focusing on HPV education.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, STD Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in Epidemiology. I have a Masterís of Science in Public Health. I have been a research assistant and graduate assistant to multiple projects. My scientific interest is Adolescent Health with a focus in reducing sexual risk and promoting sexual transmitted disease awareness. I currently serve as the research assistant, for two projects involving adolescents.
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.