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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2016 May;25(5):489-97. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2015.5348. Epub 2015 Nov 24.

Randomized Intervention of Self-Collected Sampling for Human Papillomavirus Testing in Under-Screened Rural Women: Uptake of Screening and Acceptability.

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1 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto , Toronto, Canada .
2 Department of Community and Family Medicine, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute , St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada .
3 Mount Forest Family Health Team , Mount Forest, Canada .
4 Health Canada , Ottawa, Canada .
5 DynaCare , Brampton, Canada .



Our aim was to determine if cervical cancer screening uptake would increase among under-screened women living in rural Ontario, Canada, if at-home self-collected sampling for human papillomavirus (HPV) testing was offered as a primary cervical cancer screening modality, compared to invited papanicolaou (Pap) testing or routine opportunistic screening.


Women 30-70 years of age who were overdue for cervical cancer screening were randomized to receive (1) an at-home self-collected HPV kit, (2) a reminder invitation for Pap testing, or (3) standard of care opportunistic screening. The first two arms were also asked demographic and screening history questions. Women randomized to arm 1 were asked about acceptability.


In total, 818 eligible women were identified in a small rural community in Southwestern Ontario: 335 received a self-collected HPV testing kit, 331 received a reminder letter, and 152 received standard of care. In the HPV self-collection arm, 21% (70/335) returned the sample and questionnaire and 11% (37/335) opted to undergo Pap testing. In total, 32% from the HPV self-collection arm, 15% (51/331) from the Pap invitation arm, and 8.5% (13/152) with standard of care were screened. Women receiving the self-collected HPV kit were 3.7 (95% confidence interval 2.2-6.4) times more likely to undergo screening compared to the standard of care arm. In the HPV self-sampling arm, 80% (56/70) said they would be very likely to choose self-collected sampling in the future.


Providing self-collected sampling for HPV testing was more effective than sending reminder letters to increase screening coverage in under-screened women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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