Cervical Cancer and HPV Knowledge and Awareness: An Educational Intervention among College Students in Guam

Document Type : Research Articles


1 University of Guam Cancer Research Center, United States.

2 Division of Social Work, School of Health, University of Guam, United States.

3 Division of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Guam, United States.


Background: Compared to the U.S. population, cervical cancer (CC) incidence is significantly higher among the CHamoru, Micronesian, and Caucasian populations in Guam. From 2008-2012, CC was the fifth most common cancer diagnosed on the island. Despite the prevalence of CC and low HPV vaccine uptake, there is a concerning lack of awareness and preventative behavior among young adults.  This study was aimed at influencing college students’ knowledge and awareness of CC, CC screening, HPV, and the HPV vaccination. Methods: We delivered a 30-minute educational intervention to a sample of 108 university students in a classroom setting. The effect of the educational intervention was measured through a pre-and post-test on CC and HPV health behaviors, knowledge, and awareness. Results were analyzed using SPSS and an exact McNemar’s test was used to examine the difference in the proportion of correct answers to the tests. Two-way mixed ANOVA was used to examine between (gender, ethnicity, and class level) and within subjects (pre-and post-test) program effects. Results: Of the 108 participants, only 39 (36.1%) reported being vaccinated for HPV, 23 (21.3%) had not been vaccinated, and 46 (42.6%) did not know if they had been vaccinated for HPV.  Only forty-one (60.3%) female participants had had a Pap smear. When comparing the pre-to-posttest responses, most questions had an increase in correct responses. Time also influenced CCA and HPV knowledge and awareness scores as there was a significant increase in scores from the pre- to post-test. Conclusion: The educational intervention was an effective tool for increasing knowledge and awareness of CC, HPV, and HPV vaccination among college students. While study results demonstrate the educational intervention’s success as a baseline measure of knowledge, the inclusion of behavioral outcome measures, such as intent to get vaccinated or screened, could result in more robust future studies.


Main Subjects

Volume 24, Issue 2
February 2023
Pages 443-449
  • Receive Date: 28 April 2022
  • Revise Date: 01 September 2022
  • Accept Date: 05 February 2023
  • First Publish Date: 05 February 2023