College Students’ Digital Media Preferences for future HPV Vaccine Campaigns

Alexis Koskan, Alison Cantley, Rina Li, Kenny Silvestro, Deborah Helitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In the USA, although college-aged populations are at the greatest risk for initial infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), they are one of the age-based populations with lower HPV vaccine rates, largely due to their lack of perceived need to vaccinate against HPV. Health communication campaigns can help address this perception. This research identifies college students’ preferred digital media channels for future HPV vaccine communication campaigns. We conducted qualitative small group interviews with 28 students from one large southwestern university. We used an inductive approach to hand-code interview transcripts, develop a coding structure, and analyze themes that emerged from the data. More than half of the study participants had never heard of the HPV vaccine before participating in a small group interview. When asked how they prefer to receive information about the vaccine, students more often recommended creating educational videos featuring healthcare providers and other college students and sharing them on YouTube. Some students recommended creating and posting health information memes and infographics to Instagram to disseminate the most critical information students need to make an informed decision to receive the vaccine. Given the prominent role of social media and the popularity of video-sharing and image-sharing sites, health educators and communicators should utilize these technologies to promote the HPV vaccine, a cancer prevention resource.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1743-1751
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • College
  • HPV vaccine
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Immunization
  • Qualitative research
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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