Background and Objectives
Since 2006, a vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and associated cancers has been recommended for use in the US; however, vaccine uptake has consistently remained suboptimal. Many sociodemographic factors have been evaluated with regard to HPV vaccine uptake. However, relative to other factors such as race, ethnicity, poverty status, and education, there has been less focus on the role of religion and religiosity related to the HPV vaccination.
The aim of the study was to gather knowledge, perceptions, and beliefs related to HPV and the HPV vaccination among church leaders and members at an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) in metro Atlanta, Georgia. Seven semi-structured focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with a variety of participants who were members of the AME church (e.g., religious leaders, health ministry, parents and adolescents). Utilizing a deductive approach based in grounded theory, a codebook was developed based on apparent themes present throughout the FGDs to guide thematic analysis. A Social Ecological Model (SEM) was created to visualize the AME church’s pre-existing membership-level hierarchy to identify future leverage points for strengthened communication and health promotion strategies.
Two social norm-based barriers were identified in the FGDs: 1) high levels of mistrust in the healthcare system and 2) the expectation of abstinence among adolescents. A spectrum of attitudinal norms related to HPV vaccine were present among all participants. Lastly, recommendations for future HPV prevention programs were provided by the AME church leaders and members in which they highlighted enhanced receptiveness to transparent information received from a pre-established trustworthy source. The SEM was aligned with a Behavior Change Communication (BCC) framework to identify intervention points for church leaders to leverage social engagement strategies, in turn producing health positive social influence.
With the pre-established trust between the church leaders and the congregation, the implementation of a church-based intervention has the potential to transform perceptions of the HPV vaccine and increase HPV vaccination coverage rates. These findings can be leveraged in future evaluations of HPV vaccine promotion strategies in other faith communities to ensure the avenue of providing health communication messages in a familiar and trusting setting is utilized.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION
Definition of Terms
List of Acronyms
CHAPTER II: BACKGROUND
Overview of the Literature
HPV Cancer Screenings
Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Series
Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Promotion Strategies
Barriers to the HPV Vaccination among African Americans
Influence of Religion on Health Behaviors
Religion as a factor of HPV vaccination uptake
Are Religion and Religiosity factors of HPV Vaccination Uptake among African Americans?
CHAPTER III: MANUSCRIPT
CHAPTER IV: PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS
About this Master's Thesis
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|
|The Church as an Agent of Change: A Case Study of HPV Vaccine Perceptions and HPV Prevention Strategies in an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia ()||2019-04-17 18:37:20 -0400||