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Print and online newspaper coverage of the link between HPV and oral cancer in the UK: a mixed-methods study

Dodd, RH; Marlow, LA; Forster, AS; Waller, J; (2016) Print and online newspaper coverage of the link between HPV and oral cancer in the UK: a mixed-methods study. BMJ Open , 6 (2) , Article e008740. 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008740. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in some oral cancers has been reported in the news press, though little is known about the content of these articles. This study aimed to examine how frequently the link between HPV and oral cancer has been reported in the news press and to examine the content of these articles. DESIGN: UK media articles were searched for articles relating to oral cancer and HPV in the database NexisUK. Of 854 articles identified by the initial search, 112 were eligible for inclusion (2002-2014) and content analysis was used to determine the main themes discussed. RESULTS: Themes included actor Michael Douglas' claim that his throat cancer was caused by HPV, the riskiness of oral sex, health information (including HPV as a cause of oral cancer) and the need to vaccinate boys against HPV. Many articles also referred to the link between HPV and cervical cancer and the increasing incidence of HPV-related oral cancer. The largest peak in articles occurred when Michael Douglas discussed his cancer (June 2013). Facts about HPV and references to research were provided in some articles. CONCLUSIONS: The link between HPV and oral cancer and the transmission of HPV via oral sex was regularly discussed, yet coverage often lacked detailed health information. This could increase awareness of the link between oral sex and HPV risk, but may also lead to public concern about oral sex as a sexual behaviour.

Type: Article
Title: Print and online newspaper coverage of the link between HPV and oral cancer in the UK: a mixed-methods study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008740
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008740
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. All rights reserved. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Keywords: Human Papillomavirus, Media, Oral cancer, United Kingdom
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474522
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