Women feel positive about home sampling for cervical cancer screening

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Although most participating patients and physicians consider the cervical self-collection pathway to be “highly acceptable,” the main implementation barriers reduce the ability of primary care providers to offer it as an alternative to traditional cervical screening tests.

In December 2017, the renewed National Cervical Screening Program (rNCSP) was launched in Australia, moving from biological testing of Pap smears to five-year testing of human papillomavirus (HPV).

“The rNCSP also introduced the option of an alternative which allows the use of vaginal samples collected for HPV tests from women and other people with a cervix of 30 years or more, who had not been examined for at least 4 years since their last Pap (i.e., they are more than 2 years late), or who had never been examined and had rejected the cervical screening tests collected by doctors, “wrote researchers led by Nicola Creagh, a research assistant at the Center for University of Melbourne Health Policies.

Research by Creagh and colleagues, published today in the Medical Journal of Australia, evaluates the implementation and acceptability of the self-collection selection pathway. The authors conducted individual semi-structured interviews with 45 selection participants and 18 Victoria primary care professionals who had been committed to the self-collection pathway during the first 17 months of the rNCSP.

“The self-collection pathway was highly acceptable as an alternative cervical screening route for most participants and participating screening professionals,” Creagh and colleagues reported.

“Some test participants indicated that they would not have been selected if the path was not available.

“Acceptability was lower among those who had tested positive for non-16/18 HPV types, requiring additional evidence from a cervical sample collected by the physician.”

Creagh and colleagues said the use of the self-collection pathway was “driven more by professionals than by their patients.”

“Barriers to expanding the promotion of the route by professionals included difficulties in identifying eligible participants.”

Creagh and colleagues wrote that the self-collection pathway will play “an important role in reducing the burden of cervical cancer in Australia.”

“The main barriers that currently limit the scope of the route to be overcome include difficulties related to the assessment of eligibility, low awareness of the route between eligible participants in the selection and uncertainty about the self-collection among many professionals “.


Two-thirds of women do not meet the criteria for discontinuing cervical cancer screening


More information:
Nicola S Creagh et al, Self-collecting cervical screening in the renewed National Cervical Screening Program: A Qualitative Study, Medical Journal of Australia (2021). DOI: 10.5694 / mja2.51137

Provided by Medical Journal of Australia (MJA)

Citation: Women feel positive about home sampling for cervical cancer screening (2021, June 28) retrieved June 28, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-women- positive-at-home-sampling-cervical. html

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