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.
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