Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Philip C. Doyle


The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is an extremely prevalent and sexually transmitted infection that is a known cause of morbidities such as genital warts and cancers of the cervix, anus, and oropharynx. Non-cervical HPV-related cancers have been a developing problem in North America, increasing in incidence by up to 225% in some instances over a span of two decades.

This study investigated levels of awareness and knowledge of HPV, Oropharyngeal Cancer (OPC), and the HPV vaccine using a self-administered web-based survey designed specifically for this research. University students (n=1,005) aged 18-30 completed a 42-item questionnaire that included demographic information, awareness questions, and a series of “true/false/I don’t know” knowledge questions. Results revealed that participants had relatively high levels of awareness. However, many respondents had significant gaps in their knowledge of HPV, OPC, and the HPV vaccine. These data suggest that further efforts to educate young adults on these topics are warranted.