“I don’t think I have a chance to get it”: International university student HPV knowledge and preventive behaviors

Chigozie A. Nkwonta, Robin M. Dawson, Adebola Adegboyega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Half of new human papilloma virus ((HPV)) infections occur between the ages of 15 and 24. As preventive measures are underutilized globally; international university students are at particular risk for HPV infection and sequelae. The study aim was to explore HPV knowledge and preventive behaviors in this population. Participants: Eighty-one undergraduate and graduate international university students (49 females, 32 males) at a southeastern university. Methods: Exploratory sequential mixed methods guided by the Health Belief Model. Results: Integrated qualitative/quantitative data revealed four themes mapped to relevant HBM constructs: Perceived susceptibility to HPV; Perceived benefits/Perceived barriers to HPV prevention; Cues to Action; and Likelihood of Engaging in Health-Promoting Behavior. Over half believed they were not at risk for HPV/sequelae. Only a quarter had received HPV vaccination. Conclusions: International university students represent an important catch-up population for HPV screening/vaccination. Results can be used to design and tailor interventions for this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of American College Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Behaviors
  • cancers
  • human papilloma virus
  • knowledge
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of '“I don’t think I have a chance to get it”: International university student HPV knowledge and preventive behaviors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this