Using World Cafés to engage an Australian culturally and linguistically diverse community around human papillomavirus vaccination

Publication Name

Health Expectations


Introduction: Internationally, cultural factors are associated with vaccine uptake and completion in ethnic minority communities. Whilst Australia has achieved high human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, little is known about how culture or ethnicity influences HPV vaccination engagement. To address these gaps, we partnered with our Local Health District to explore how one culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community engages with school and HPV vaccination. Methods: We adapted a participatory research method (the World Café) to engage one local CALD community—the Macedonian community (Our bi-cultural researcher and participants preferred the term ‘Macedonia’ rather than The Republic of North Macedonia as outlined in the 2018 Prespa agreement) in New South Wales (Australia)—to discuss HPV and school vaccination. Our qualitative analysis combined deductive codes taken from the Tailoring Immunization Programme framework, inductive codes guided by narrative inquiry (temporality, sociality and place) and previously known vaccination ‘trust’ frameworks. Results: In late 2019, 31 local Macedonian community members were purposely recruited for two World Cafés (n = 15 mothers/grandmothers and n = 16 young adults). Our themes reveal a community narrative grounded in historical vaccine experiences, family views on vaccination and a general trust in schools. Participants collectively discussed how ‘increasing knowledge’ and ‘tailoring health communications’ could strengthen community vaccine decision-making. Conclusion: This study demonstrates how research partnerships and participatory methods can be applied in CALD community settings to research engagement with school and HPV vaccination. Our World Café dialogues highlight a positive narrative about vaccines, where community vaccination behaviours were built on multilayer trust relationships despite low vaccine knowledge. Our findings further knowledge around ‘public trust’ in school vaccination, highlighting the importance of existing (or missing) trust relationships when tailoring vaccine communication to local CALD communities. Patient or Public Contribution: Participants who took part in the World Cafes were all local Macedonian community parents or young adults who have been or will be exposed to the health services offered by school-based HPV vaccination. Thus, all the data collected came from their personal experiences with the school vaccination programme, or how they expect to participate in the programme. To ensure our study design was culturally appropriate and tailored to the Macedonian community, we engaged with the relevant local health stakeholders (the bi-cultural Multicultural Health Officer and Multicultural Health Service Manager Programme Director) to adapt and refine the World Café method for this context and setting. Our local health stakeholders also reviewed our preliminary findings, assisted with data interpretation and participated in manuscript editing.

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