30346 HPV Fotonovela: An Ounce of Prevention

Monday, March 26, 2012
Poster Hall
Rebeca Boyte, MAS , Latino Health Educator, California Department of Public Health

Background:  Approximately 11,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and nearly 4,000 die from the disease. Latina women, the fastest growing minority in the US, have twice the cervical cancer incidence as non-Latina whites, stressing their need for education about cervical cancer prevention and screening.  Popular throughout the Americas, fotonovelas resemble comic books but have photographs, instead of illustrations, combined with dialogue bubbles. Fotonovelas use dramatic storylines to convey important lessons. The California Department of Public Health, Immunization Branch and a 10-member advisory committee developed a bilingual fotonovela, “An Ounce of Prevention” to teach Latina mothers of preteens about Human Papillomavirus (HPV), HPV vaccine, and the importance of regular Pap tests.  

Setting:  Various public health settings, including local health departments, community clinics, community centers, hospitals, outreach, and educational settings.

Population:  Latina mothers of preteens, children ages 11 and 12.  

Project Description:  The objectives of the bilingual fotonovela are to

  • Increase awareness about cervical cancer, HPV vaccine, and cervical cancer screening.
  • Promote immunization of preteens against HPV
 The fotonovela was evaluated by three focus groups of five to eight Latina mothers of preteens, who were tested on their comprehension of the messages and vocabulary before and after reading the fotonovela.

Results/Lessons Learned:  The input of 1) the statewide workgroup with bilingual and bicultural health professionals and 2) target audience reviewers was helpful in developing the fotonovela.

On their pre- and post-tests, all (100%) focus group participants reported acquiring knowledge from the fotonovela on “What does the HPV vaccine prevent?," "How many shots are needed?," and "Is the vaccine available for both boys and girls?

The fotonovela was been distributed widely throughout Latino communities in California and is available at http://vacunasymisalud.org/wp-content/uploads/file/IMM-1049_fotonovela_web.pdf