Background: The Healthy Men, Health Communities program aims to improve preventive behaviors among African American men to reduce HPV-related cancer disparities.
Purpose: We describe the development of an educational intervention using cultural-targeting strategies (i.e., linguistics, peripherals, evidence, socio-culture, and constituent-involving).
Methods: After building capacity of community-based organization (CBO) leaders as research team members, we conducted 3 focus groups, 30 surveys, and a community review and program evaluation with African American men.
Results: Focus group themes were: 1) The Known and Unknown of Cancer, HPV, and the vaccine; (2) Personal experiences with cancer were commonplace; (3) Barriers to Engaging HPV Cancer Preventive Behaviors; (4) Multi-Modal Strategies are needed to improve preventive behaviors; and (5) Actual versus Preferred Sources of Information. Survey data indicated men desired information on penile (52%) and oral cancers (48%). The preferred education format was a summit with speakers on various topics (96%). Post-summit evaluation indicated majority of males intended to get screened (73%), eat healthier (77%), and exercise more (64%). About 40% reported getting themselves, children, or grandchildren the HPV vaccine.
Discussion: Our program demonstrated acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy. This work warrants further study as a potential program to improve HPV preventive behaviors among African American men.
Keywords: African American; Cancer and Cancer Education; Community-Based Participatory Research; Disparities; Human Papillomavirus (HPV); Men’s Health Issues.