Radionovela promotes awareness and knowledge of cervical cancer vaccine among Hispanic parents
Research Activities, September 2012, No. 385
A short Spanish-language radionovela, a broadcast short story, can dramatically increase human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine awareness among rural Hispanic parents of preteen and teenage daughters, concludes a new study. Hispanic women in the United States have a higher incidence of cervical cancer (primarily caused by persistent, high-risk HPV infections) than white women. Following approval of the first anti-HPV vaccine Gardasil® by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006 for females aged 9–26, it was expected that the majority of cervical cancers could be prevented by vaccination of girls at the age of 11 or 12. Targeted programs are thought to be needed to target high-risk groups like Latino women.
Toward that end, the researchers tested a 5-minute Spanish-language radionovela that includes a story about a young girl who learns of the HPV vaccine from a school friend and talks to her mother about it. Her mother talks to a friend who is a nurse, the girl's father, and a doctor about her interest and concerns about the vaccine. After receiving consent from both her parents, the young girl receives the vaccine from a local health clinic.
Rural Hispanic parents of daughters aged 9 to 17 (78 mothers and 10 fathers) were randomized to listen to the HPV vaccine radionovela or to another public service announcement (PSA). The parents who heard the radionovela as part of a 15-minute broadcast of other Spanish-language programming improved greatly in their awareness and knowledge of HPV vaccine between a pretest and a posttest compared with parents who listened to another 5-minute Spanish-language PSA about prostate cancer. Parents who heard the HPV vaccine radionovela were more likely than the control group to confirm that HPV was a common infection (70 vs. 48 percent), to deny that women are able to detect whether they have HPV infection (53 vs. 31 percent), to know the recommended age range for vaccination (87 vs. 68 percent), and to confirm that the vaccine is given in multiple doses.
The study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (T32 HS13853). More details are in "Evaluation of a radionovela to promote HPV vaccine awareness and knowledge among Hispanic parents," by Deanna Kepka, Gloria D. Coronado, Hector P. Rodriguez, and others in the December 2011 Journal of Community Health 36(6), pp. 957-965.