Does Knowing about an HPV Infection Influence Behavior Change? A Feasibility Study of Females Attending a Teen Clinic

Richard Crosby, Kristin Rager, Amy Hanson, Julie Ribes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To test the feasibility of a brief, clinic-based, behavioral intervention designed to foster the adoption of three protective behaviors among adolescent females testing positive for any of 13 oncogenic strains of HPV. This feasibility study also included non-statistical comparisons of risk behaviors assessed at follow-up. Design: A non-randomized clinical trial. Participants: Twenty-eight sexually active, 17-23-year-old females were recruited from a hospital-based adolescent medicine clinic. Intervention: Adolescents testing positive for HPV received a physician-delivered intervention designed to emphasize the association of high-risk HPV with cervical cancer and to promote protective behaviors. Those testing negative for HPV did not receive intervention. Main Outcome Measure: Several indicators were used including sexual risk behaviors, intent for subsequent Pap testing, intent to quit smoking, and intent to be vaccinated against HPV. Results: Those testing positive (39.3%) received the intervention. Recruitment and retention rates were high. In comparing the two groups after a 30-day follow-up period, modest differences, favoring the intervention, were observed. At follow-up, teens testing positive reported lower levels of risk taking behavior, greater intent to return for next Pap testing, greater intent to quit smoking (if applicable), and greater intent to be vaccinated against HPV. Conclusion: Overall, the findings suggest that a larger study is indeed feasible and may produce meaningful differences between groups. Although the source (i.e., testing positive vs. the receipt of intervention) of these differences cannot be determined, findings suggests that further investigation of a testing/behavioral intervention regarding HPV and cervical cancer prevention for adolescent females may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-376
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge partial support for this study from the Digene Corporation, from the Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky, and from a DDI Endowment fund granted to the first author.


  • Adolescents
  • Behavior change
  • HPV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Does Knowing about an HPV Infection Influence Behavior Change? A Feasibility Study of Females Attending a Teen Clinic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this