Vaccine. 2011 Nov 3;29(47):8760-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.07.116. Epub 2011 Aug 17.
A qualitative analysis of South African womens knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about HPV and cervical cancer prevention, vaccine awareness and acceptance, and maternal-child communication about sexual health.
Francis SA, Battle-Fisher M, Liverpool J, Hipple L, Mosavel M, Soogun S, Mofammere N.
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
In South Africa, cervical cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. Black South Africa women are disproportionately affected by cervical cancer and have one of the highest mortality rates from this disease. Although the body of literature that examines HPV and cervical cancer prevention is growing in the developing world; there is still a need for a better understanding of womens knowledge and beliefs around HPV and cervical cancer prevention. Therefore, this formative study sought to examine womens attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of HPV and cervical cancer, HPV vaccine acceptance, maternal-child communication about sexuality, and healthcare decision-making and gender roles within an urban community in South Africa. Women ages 18-44 were recruited from an antenatal clinic in a Black township outside of Johannesburg during the fall of 2008. Twenty-four women participated in three focus groups. Findings indicated that the women talked to their children about a variety of sexual health issues; had limited knowledge about HPV, cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccine. Women were interested in learning more about the vaccine although they had reservations about the long-term affect; they reinforced that grandmothers played a key role in a mothers decisions about her childs health, and supported the idea that government should provide the HPV vaccine as part of the countrys immunization program. Our findings indicate the need to develop primary prevention strategies and materials that will provide women with basic cervical cancer prevention messages, including information about HPV, cervical cancer, the HPV vaccine, screening, and how to talk to their children about these topics. Prevention strategies should also consider the cultural context and the role that grandmothers play in the family unit.
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