Self-collection of samples for HPV testing to increase participation in cervical cancer screening by immigrant women: An integrative review

Objective: To examine methods and results of studies assessing self-collection of cervico-vaginal samples for human papillomavirus (HPV) testing by immigrant women for insights into how future research using this method with unique subpopulations of women may improve the rates of cervical cancer screening (CCS) compared to current strategies.

Data sources: Four electronic databases were systematically searched through March 2020, with no limits applied. A manual review of reference lists was also completed.

Study selection: The search resulted in 63 articles. After removal of duplicates, 36 were reviewed against inclusion criteria. A manual review of reference lists yielded two additional studies. The final sample included 15 relevant publications representing 13 unique empirical studies.

Data extraction: Data related to study methodology and empirical results were extracted into table form.

Data synthesis: The methods of the studies were summarized and synthesized, including diversity of participants, community engagement, including collaboration with public health nurses or community health workers. In addition, methods and findings related to the educational components of the studies, and empirical findings related to various cultural groups, were described.

Conclusion: To reduce health disparities in CCS, researchers should focus on diverse groups, such as immigrant women, to understand important individual and group-specific factors that may influence screening, including whether self-collection of samples for HPV testing along with appropriate education and support for follow-up will address these factors.

Keywords: cervical cancer screening; immigrants; integrative review; self-collection.