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The acceptability of self-sampled screening for HPV DNA: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Objective To examine whether or not self-sampled cervical screening for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA is acceptable and if women prefer self-sampling to clinician-based sampling.

Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources Thirty-seven primary studies obtained through a comprehensive search of six electronic bibliographic databases from 1986 to 2014 and other sources. Search keywords included HPV, screening, DNA testing, vaginal testing, self-collected specimen, self-collected sample, self-sampling, self-screening, preferences and acceptability.

Review methods Studies eligible for analysis included those that had participants perform self-sampling, evaluated participant acceptance of or preference for self-sampled vaginal HPV DNA and reported data to calculate an effect size. There were no exclusion criteria for publication status or geographical location. Meta-analytic methods were used to quantitatively synthesise effect sizes across studies.

Results The 37 studies included 18 516 female participants from 24 countries across five continents. Overall, there was a high level of acceptability of self-sampling among the participants. Participants reported preference for self-sampling over clinician sampling due to attractive characteristics such as ease and privacy.

Conclusions The overall acceptability of self-sampled cervical screening, coupled with economic and effective care, provides opportunities for expanding screening services. Importantly, this can provide a creative screening alternative for women who do not participate in traditional cytological screening, and may ultimately reduce health disparities and prevent cervical disease.

  • HPV

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