Development and evaluation of a set of core human papilloma virus (HPV) messages to promote informed choice for both tests and vaccines for use in primary care and broader UK settings.


Cancer Research UK

Principal Investigator
Professor Clare Wilkinson

Type of study
Observational - cohort

Cervical cancer prevention is evolving rapidly. HPV testing will be introduced shortly into the UK Cervical Screening Programme, and the Department of Health (DH) has announced that, in principle, HPV vaccination will be introduced for girls age 11-13 in late 2008 in the UK. Knowledge about HPV is poor in the UK, and messages about HPV are complex, confusing and worrying. Other countries have undertaken substantial research to generate appropriate core messages for both people and health care providers. Primary care was noted to be a key group in the US in terms of delivery. A high quality UK specific educational programme is urgently needed for both public and providers to promote informed choice. Step wise empirical work is urgently needed to rigorously develop core HPV messages for use in UK settings. Cervical cancer is the second commonest cancer amongst young women in the UK, and is preventable. 70% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV types 16 and 18. Informed choice is only possible in the emerging testing and vaccine programmes if up-to-date, unbiased, evidence based and relevant messages can be used to explain them.  This project aims to rigorously develop core HPV messages, relevant to both testing and vaccination that promote informed choice, minimise anxiety and improve disease control in primary care and broader settings. To ensure these messages have a timely, culturally sensitive impact on UK policies, clinical practice and future trials. The study has three parts: review of the literature and information/education material, qualitative interviews, and community surveys (MRC Phases 0 and 1).

Link with RDG / CSG or similar

Start date
Nov 2008 

End date
Nov 2011