Online Program

Identifying and exploring state policy issues in cervical cancer

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Beth Meyerson, MDiv, PhD, Applied Health Science, Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Carrie Lawrence, PhD, MS, CFLE, CHES, School of Health Physical Education and Recreation, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Jennifer S. Smith, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: We know little about the policy issues at state level that impede cervical cancer efforts. This study identifies and explores state policy issues in cervical cancer to inform future policy and program strategies. Methods: Sixty minute key informant interviews were conducted with 15 professionals working in and around cervical cancer: federal and state government breast and cervical cancer programs; women's health and cancer control; national advocacy organizations engaged in sexual health and cancer; legislative affairs; researchers working in cervical cancer intervention and evaluation; state coalitions engaged in cervical cancer efforts; and partners from industry working on diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines. Results: State policy issues included health system complexity; lack of state level cervical cancer program and policy coordination, and socio-organizational culture issues. System complexity was fueled by disparate and uncoordinated financing, controlled by different state programs/agencies. A paucity of state level coordination exacerbated by a lack of cervical cancer inter-agency/program influence prevented comprehensive, streamlined systems of care. Despite recent efforts to coordinate statewide cancer planning, cervical cancer issues and actors were not active in state priority setting. Socio-organizational cultural issues prevented normalization of HPV vaccine for boys and girls, as well as program and practitioner adoption of recent screening recommendations focused on identifying and monitoring persistent HPV. Conclusions: Identified state policy issues highlight needed collective attention on state systems and programs. Cross-agency, statewide planning could streamline systems for comprehensive cervical cancer vaccination, screening and treatment with coordinated funding and policy. Need to address leadership vacuum for cervical cancer efforts.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify state policy issues preventing success with cervical cancer vaccine, treatment and screening efforts. Discuss policy issues related to health system planning and coordination to strengthen cervical cancer efforts.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, System Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI on this and several policy research projects focused on health system elasticity and access to sexual health care (STD, HIV and cervical cancer).
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.