Volume 138, Issue 2 p. 194-200
CLINICAL ARTICLE

A pilot study of community-based self-sampling for HPV testing among non-attenders of cervical cancer screening programs in El Salvador

Bari Laskow

Bari Laskow

Basic Health International, San Salvador, El Salvador

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Ruben Figueroa

Ruben Figueroa

Basic Health International, San Salvador, El Salvador

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Karla M. Alfaro

Karla M. Alfaro

Basic Health International, San Salvador, El Salvador

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Isabel C. Scarinci

Isabel C. Scarinci

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, USA

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Elizabeth Conlisk

Elizabeth Conlisk

School of Natural Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, USA

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Mauricio Maza

Mauricio Maza

Basic Health International, San Salvador, El Salvador

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Judy C. Chang

Judy C. Chang

Magee-Womens Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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Miriam Cremer

Corresponding Author

Miriam Cremer

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA

Correspondence

Miriam Cremer, Basic Health International, New York, NY, USA.

Emails: [email protected]; [email protected]

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First published: 07 June 2017
Citations: 10

Abstract

Objective

To establish the feasibility and acceptability of home-based HPV self-sampling among women who did not attend screening appointments in rural El Salvador.

Methods

In a cross-sectional study, data were collected from May 2015 to January 2016 among 60 women aged 30–59 years who were not pregnant, provided informed consent, had not been screened in 2 years, had no history of pre-cancer treatment, and did not attend a scheduled HPV screening. Participants completed questionnaires and received educational information before being given an opportunity to self-sample with the Hybrid Capture 2 High Risk HPV DNA Test.

Results

Self-sampling was accepted by 41 (68%) participants. Almost all women chose to self-sample because the process was easy (40/41, 98%), could be performed at home (40/41, 98%), and saved time (38/41, 93%), and because they felt less embarrassed (33/41, 80%). The most common reason for declining the test was not wanting to be screened (8/19, 42%). The prevalence of high-risk HPV types among women who accepted self-sampling was 17% (7/41).

Conclusion

For most women, community-based self-sampling was an acceptable way to participate in a cervical cancer screening program. In low-resource countries, incorporating community-based self-sampling into screening programs might improve coverage of high-risk women.