Summary:In preparation for HIV vaccine trials, data on a cohort's knowledge about vaccines and vaccine studies are required so as to tailor educational materials to adequately meet local needs. Interviews (n = 1,182) conducted as part of a 3-year prospective study of Ugandan military men aged 18 to 30 years determined what information, in addition to standard trials information, would be required to ensure comprehension of trial procedures. The interviews highlighted four points: (1) the cohort has a lot of knowledge about vaccines but conflates whether vaccines cure or prevent disease; (2) there is a general lack of knowledge about clinical trials procedures; (3) the desire to be protected from HIV/AIDS is a common reason for being willing to participate in a hypothetical vaccine trial; and (4) concern about side effects is a common reason for being unwilling to participate in a trial. These four points guided the focus of the vaccine trials education, which used locally appropriate analogies to introduce complex unfamiliar concepts such as placebos and blinding. This case study highlights the value of incorporating baseline interviews to assess the educational needs of study populations.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Janet W. McGrath, Department of Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7125, U.S.A.; e-mail: jwm6@ po.cwru.edu
Manuscript received June 23, 2000; accepted October 31, 2000.
© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.