Medical College of Wisconsin researcher to study vaccination decisions in Latino community
Oct. 23, 2012 College News - The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) received a two-year, $440,000 award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Nursing Research to investigate the decision-making processes between Latina girls and their mothers when it comes to obtaining the HPV vaccine.
Julia Lechuga, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine in the Medical College’s Center for AIDS Intervention Research, is the principal investigator for the grant.
Cervical cancer incidence is two to four time greater among Latina women than non-Latina white women. Large ethnic disparities also exist in vaccination rates. For example, 50% of girls who have regular access to cervical cancer screening have been vaccinated, but only 13% of ethnic minority girls who are considered medically underserved have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Through this study, structured interviews will be conducted with 60 pairs of Latina mothers and their daughters who have not been vaccinated against HPV, and 60 pairs of mothers and their daughters who have been vaccinated against HPV. Following these two qualitative studies, a quantitative study will be conducted, consisting of a survey administered to 150 Latina mothers, 50% who have vaccinated their daughters and 50% who have not. This study will identify the factors that predict the greatest proportion of variance in vaccination behavior.
The findings from this research will be used to help create a program to promote vaccination in the Latino community, as well as informing health care providers of specific information that can be provided to Latina patients to motivate vaccination.
The primary community partner is the 16th Street Community Health Center in Milwaukee, which serves under and uninsured Latino families.
The Center for AIDS Intervention Research at MCW is one of five HIV prevention research centers in the United States funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. CAIR’s missions are to conceptualize, conduct, and scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of new intervention strategies to prevent HIV infection in populations vulnerable to the disease. CAIR’s research also develops improved strategies to promote health and alleviate adverse mental health consequences among persons living with HIV. CAIR is committed to disseminating its findings both to the scientific community and to public health providers so they benefit from Center research.