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J Clin Epidemiol. 2003 Sep;56(9):862-6.

Self-collected versus provider-collected vaginal swabs for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis: an assessment of validity and reliability.

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Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine,921 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021, USA.


Bacterial vaginosis (BV) in pregnancy is related to numerous adverse events; however, the validity of different methods of vaginal swab collection to diagnosis BV among pregnant women is unclear. This study examines the validity of self-collected compared with provider-collected vaginal swabs and describes the intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of BV assessment among a sample of pregnant women early in gestation. Gram-stain evaluation of vaginal samples using the Nugent criteria was conducted to determine the overall and morphotype-specific BV scores. We found strong validity for the overall and morphotype-specific scores comparing self-collected swabs to provider-collected swabs. In addition, we found excellent overall and morphotype-specific inter-rater reliability and excellent intra-rater reliability in our sample. These study results support the use of self-collected vaginal swabs for diagnosing BV and document the reliability of BV assessment among pregnant women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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