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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Dec;21(12):1275-81. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2012.3512. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

The acceptability of a self-lavaging device compared to pelvic examination for cervical cancer screening among low-income women.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.



A simpler approach to cervical cancer screening could increase coverage, thus reducing cervical cancer mortality in the United States. Self-collection of specimens for screening tests may be one such approach. The aim of this study was to assess the acceptability of a self-lavaging device (Delphi Screener(™), Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands) for cervical cancer screening. Self-lavage specimens have been shown to have equivalent sensitivity for detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) when coupled with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) tests as clinician-collected specimens with cytologic review.


Low-income women (n=198) who had recently received cervical cytologic testing in one of three participating clinics in New York City enrolled; 197 self-lavaged. Women answered open-ended and closed-ended questions on ease of use, level of comfort with the self-lavage and the pelvic examination, and future screening preference.


Ninety-six percent of women reported they were very/somewhat comfortable self-lavaging compared to 47% very/somewhat comfortable with the clinician collecting a specimen during a pelvic examination (p<0.001). The majority (79%) would prefer self-lavage the next time they need to be screened; only 8% would prefer pelvic examination by a doctor, and 14% had no preference. The main reasons for preferring self-lavage centered on convenience and comfort.


Self-lavaging was highly acceptable to women in this study. Self-collection of specimens has the potential to simplify screening and reduce logistical barriers for many women, which could increase overall coverage of cervical cancer screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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