Assessing Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs about Cervical Cancer, Human Papillomavirus and HPV Vaccine among Shipibo-Konibo Women of Peru
Clark, Elizabeth Anne
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Background: The Shipibo-Konibo ethnic group is one of the largest indigenous populations in the Peruvian Amazon. Due to economic, cultural, and geographical barriers, Shipibo-Konibo women are less likely to access cervical cancer screening and therefore are at higher risk for cervical cancer mortality. Objective: to learn how cervical cancer is understood from the perspective of Shipibo-Konibo women and to see what factors influence a woman's decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate her daughter. Methodology: Thirty in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with Shipibo-Konibo women from a variety of different perspectives: urban, rural, with daughters who had and had not received the vaccine. Interviews were transcribed, coded and analyzed for themes. Main results: without exception, all women in the study perceived cervical cancer as a dangerous disease and were in favor of their daughter receiving a vaccine that could protect them from cervical cancer. The main difference was: in the rural community, women had more medically accurate beliefs about the etiology of cervical cancer. In both communities, shame and poverty were identified as barriers to seeking preventive care and treatment for cervical cancer. Conclusions: These results are both encouraging, as the universal acceptability and perceived need of the HPV vaccine is high, and helpful in identifying areas of growth for future health education programs, especially surrounding risk factors for cervical cancer.
- Global health