Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



School of Dentistry



Committee Chair

Christina DeBiase

Committee Co-Chair

Amy Funk

Committee Member

Alcinda Trickett-Shockey


Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, was firmly linked to a new subset of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC's) in late 2007. With growing rates of West Virginians affected by HPV-related oral cancers it becomes pertinent to verify that public healthcare professionals of all disciplines are aware of this causal relationship and educating their patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the knowledge level, attitudes and behaviors of a convenience sample of West Virginia's public healthcare professionals regarding the oral implications of HPV before and after and educational presentation. A pre- and post- intervention survey methodology was utilized with an additional survey mailed to the sample population four months later. Chi-square tests for independence and binary logistic regression were utilized to determine any significant differences of answer choice on all three surveys. Statistical analysis revealed a significant increase in knowledge concerning oral cancer related to HPV on two of the three survey questions (X2= 6.4, p=0.03, X2=6.3, p=0.02). After the educational lecture participants indicated they were more likely to engage and educate the public about oral cancer caused by HPV (X2= 4.2, p =0.08), encourage their at-risk patients to seek oral cancer screenings (X2=2.1, p=0.18) and claim to have taken every opportunity to speak with patients about oral cancer caused by HPV (X2=14.5, p=0.0001). Knowledge of and patient education efforts by West Virginia public healthcare providers concerning the oral implications of HPV has increased as a result of the lecture. The knowledge gain indicated knowledge deficiencies on the topic which indicates the topics' future application for interprofessional education (IPE). It is recommended that this topic be applied to IPE in other states or within other settings such as the correctional environment or Native American reservations.