The 2014 President?s Cancer Panel called underuse of HPV vaccines ?a serious, but correctable threat to progress against cancer.? The Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, more recently, identified expanding the use of HPV vaccines as a top priority for cancer prevention, especially in medically underserved populations. The overarching goal of the proposed project is to develop and evaluate a novel, theory-based message framing intervention to accelerate HPV vaccine uptake among African American adolescents. Based on prospect theory and the health belief model, this project aims to 1) develop culturally appropriate messages framed in gains and losses and pretest these messages through community engagement; 2) determine whether/how the effects of message framing (gain vs. loss) on African American parents? acceptance of the HPV vaccine are moderated by their prior beliefs about HPV and the HPV vaccine; and 3) evaluate the efficacy of a message framing intervention rooted in message targeting principles utilizing mobile tablets for efficient targeting through a clinic-based randomized trial. The proposed project will generate key insights into the persuasive effects of message framing as applied to the promotion of HPV vaccination. It will produce solid empirical evidence surrounding a novel, theory-based message framing intervention aimed at accelerating HPV vaccine uptake among African American adolescents. Addressing a critical aspect of health disparities disadvantaging the African American community, this research represents a systematic and timely effort to respond to the call of the 2014 President?s Cancer Panel on the urgency of optimizing communication strategies for promoting HPV vaccination among key stakeholders.
The proposed project addresses a major public health concern ? low HPV vaccination rates among adolescents ? and represents a timely effort to develop effective communication interventions for promoting HPV vaccination. By examining HPV vaccination communication strategies that resonate with African American parents, the proposed project also addresses critical health disparities in HPV-related cancers. With its focus on developing and evaluating a theory-based message framing intervention, the proposed project will not only advance communication science bearing direct relevance to public health promotion, particularly the promotion of HPV vaccination, but also make a significant step forward toward translating basic behavioral science underlying vaccine communication into community-based interventions.