D3f Males Receiving HPV Test Results: A Unique Opportunity to Assess Emotional Responses in Men

Thursday, March 11, 2010: 9:45 AM
Grand Ballroom B (M4) (Omni Hotel)
Ellen Daley, PhD1, Eric Buhi, MPH, PhD1, Stephanie Marhefka, PhD1, Cheryl Vamos, PhD1, Chris Wheldon, MSPH2 and Natalie Hernandez, MPH2, 1Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, 2Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health -- University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Background: Males play an important role in HPV transmission; however, very little research has examined malesí psychosocial responses to an HPV infection. Testing positive for HPV may have adverse emotional consequences for men. We explore these emotional responses in a unique study that assesses menís response to receiving an HPV test result.

Objectives: To examine differences in emotional responses among men who self-reported HPV test results.

Methods: Men (N=360) enrolled in a natural history study of HPV completed a computer-assisted-survey instrument assessing their psychosocial responses after receiving HPV test results. Analyses were conducted among men reporting positive test results (n=117). Ordinary least squares regression was used to determine the association between a measure of emotional response and theoretical predictors, including perceived threat (perceived susceptibility to and perceived severity of HPV/genital warts, and a host of HPV-related consequences), having a main sex partner, and reporting HPV symptoms, while controlling for sociodemographic factors.

Results: As anticipated, HPV+ men exhibited more negative emotions regarding their HPV test result than did HPV- men (i.e., feeling scared, angry, shocked, confused, depressed or guilty). Higher levels of negative emotional response were associated with perceived susceptibility (?=0.29, p>0.01) and ever having had HPV symptoms (?=0.19, p=0.04). Conversely, men who reported having a main sex partner were less likely to report negative emotional responses after receiving their HPV test result (?= -0.17, p>0.05). No association was found between perceived severity and emotional response (p> .11).

Conclusions: These findings highlight some of the complex issues that may occur with an HPV+ test result in men. Additional research will need to assess subsequent behaviors among these study participants.

Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Knowledge of menís emotional and cognitive responses to HPV infection will assist in framing educational and health messages when the HPV vaccine is approved for males.

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