Background: Rates of human papillomavirus virus (HPV) and HPV-related cancers are higher among immigrants, especially those from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Limited health literacy is also more prevalent among immigrant groups. While education is central to HPV prevention and reduction, there is a dearth of research on health educators' understanding of how to educate populations with health literacy deficits. The purpose of this study was to assess the health literacy knowledge and experience of advanced health education students.
Methods: A modified Health Literacy Knowledge and Experience Survey (HL-KES) was used to collect data from 250 junior and senior students who reported an intention to take the Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) examination. Descriptive and Spearman rho correlational analyses were conducted.
Results: Composite scores on the 29-item knowledge scale ranged from 5-28. Most students (84%) scored below 70%, and only five percent of the sample scored above 80%. Majority of students reported never or only sometimes engaging in experiences related to health literacy. There was a significant negative correlation between health literacy knowledge and health literacy experience ( = -.189, p > .05).
Conclusion: The results suggest health education students have deficient health literacy knowledge and limited opportunities to develop practical health literacy experience. Professional preparation programs may need to revise their curricula to address health literacy deficiencies in course offerings.
Citation Format: Lenna Dawkins-Moultin, E. Lisako McKyer, Andrea McDonald. Raising HPV awareness in immigrant populations: Are health educators prepared to address health literacy challenges? [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Tenth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2017 Sep 25-28; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2018;27(7 Suppl):Abstract nr C10.