Self-collection for under-screened women in a National Cervical Screening Program: pilot study

  • M. Saville University of Melbourne
  • D. Hawkes University of Melbourne
  • E. Mclachlan University of Melbourne,
  • S. Anderson Baarlinjan Medical Clinic
  • K. Arabena University of Melbourne
Keywords: Human papillomavirus (hpv), self-collection, cervical cancer screening, diagnostic testing

Abstract

Background

Commencing 1 December 2017, Australia introduced human papillomavirus (hpv)-based cervical screening. As part of this Australian renewed National Cervical Screening Program (ncsp) women who are either never- or under-screened and who refuse a practitioner collected sample will be able to collect their own sample for cervical screening. The aim of this study is to examine the quantitative results of a pilot study into the acceptability of the self-collection alternative pathway.

Methods

Eligible participants were offered the opportunity to collect their own sample. Those who agreed were given a flocked swab and an instruction sheet and took their own sample in an area of the health care clinic that afforded them adequate privacy. These samples were then given to clinic staff who returned them to Victorian Cytology Service (vcs) Pathology for hpv nucleic acid testing.

Results

Of 98 eligible women, seventy-nine undertook self-collection for hpv-based cervical screening. Seventy seven produced valid results, 14 were positive for oncogenic hpv, with 10 undertaking follow-up. Three women were found to have cervical squamous abnormalities with two of those being high-grade intraepithelial squamous lesions.

Conclusion

The pilot study for self-collection for cervical screening produced quantitative data that were similar to that already reported in the literature, but had a much higher rate of acceptance compared with self-collection programs based in the home.

Author Biographies

M. Saville, University of Melbourne
Victorian Cytology Service, Carlton, Victoria, Australia; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
D. Hawkes, University of Melbourne
Victorian Cytology Service, Carlton, Victoria, Australia; Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
E. Mclachlan, University of Melbourne,
Indigenous Health Equity Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
S. Anderson, Baarlinjan Medical Clinic
Ballarat and District Aboriginal Collective
K. Arabena, University of Melbourne
Indigenous Health Equity Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Published
2018-02-28
How to Cite
Saville, M., Hawkes, D., Mclachlan, E., Anderson, S., & Arabena, K. (2018). Self-collection for under-screened women in a National Cervical Screening Program: pilot study. Current Oncology, 25(1), e27-e32. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.3915
Section
Cancer Control and Prevention