HOPSCOTCH - HPV Oral Prevalence in Scotland


In Scotland, oropharyngeal cancer is the fastest increasing cancer, particularly in men, with around 800 oral and pharyngeal cancer cases per year. Although evidence suggests that this increase is being driven by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection little is known about the rates, determinants and risk factors of oral HPV infection outside the US or in relation to HPV vaccination.

The HOPSCOTCH study explored the feasibility of undertaking a full population investigation into the prevalence, incidence, and persistence of oral HPV in Scotland via dental settings. The study took place in six primary care dental settings across NHS Tayside and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the objectives were to examine:

  1. the suitability of different dental settings, including assessment of different models of recruitment and follow-up;
  2. subject participation and consent rates;
  3. completion of data and sample collection/handling – including lifestyle/sexual history questionnaire, and oral gargle/rinse;
  4. feasibility of record linkage to national health datasets;
  5. sample validation for HPV detection assay.

Current Status


Chief Investigator

Dr David Conway, Dental School, University of Glasgow

The HOPSCOTCH study is being conducted as part of the Scottish Oral Health Research Collaboration and is being funded by the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (Grant No. CZH/4/917).

Further details of The HOPSCOTCH Study are available on the Scottish Oral Health Research Collaboration website.