Notes from research in progress: Information practices regarding HPV vaccination in Swedish school healthcare Johanna Rivano Eckerdal, Lund University, Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences1 December, 2015
The project Information on and surrounding HPV-vaccine in Swedish school healthcare concerns Swedish school nurses’ information practices related to administering vaccine against human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus and vaccination against HPV is included for girls in the national vaccination programme since 2010. It is administered in grade 5 or 6 but only after parental consent. Vaccinations are preventive medical interventions that are disputed. School nurses therefore play a crucial role as information sources. Parents need to consider information from different sources, and deliberations concerning their child’s sexual and reproductive health adds complexity. Media reports, being information, influence their decisions. In a previous study media coverage on HPV-vaccine, as well as accounts of two school nurses about how they inform about and administer the vaccine were analysed (Rivano Eckerdal, submitted). It was found that a considerable amount of time was spent on documentation and on receiving the consent forms from the parents. Furthermore, the nurses pointed out that the girls were focussed on the syringe and not on why the vaccine was administered.
In the ongoing project information is gathered by observing school nurses informing about and administering the vaccine, something not previously studied. Both school nurses and parents will also be interviewed. The aim of the project is to gain knowledge about how information practices related to preventive medical interventions within school health care are enacted on a micro-level and how they are understood by school nurses and parents. Vaccinations are construed as intersections at which parents, children and school nurses as society representatives meet the vaccine as a technology to which all of them need to relate. The project is presently carried out in one municipality in the south of Sweden but it will extend to include more schools over time. The project contributes to research-based knowledge about health promoting information practices concerning young people’s sexual and reproductive health.
Rivano Eckerdal. J. (Submitted). “Förståelser av HPV-vaccin mellan hälsopanik och tillit” [Understandings of HPV vaccine between health scare and trust].