Self-sampling for cervical screening offered at the point of invitation: A cross-sectional study of preferences in England

J Med Screen. 2022 Apr 7:9691413221092246. doi: 10.1177/09691413221092246. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: This study assessed preferences for human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling if offered as an alternative to clinician-based screening at the point of invitation for cervical screening.

SETTING AND METHODS: An online questionnaire was completed by screening-eligible women living in England (n = 3672). Logistic regressions explored associations between demographic characteristics and screening preferences, stratified by previous screening attendance. Reasons for preferences were also assessed.

RESULTS: Half of participants (51.4%) intended to choose self-sampling, 36.5% preferred clinician screening, 10.5% were unsure, and <2% preferred no screening. More irregular and never attenders chose self-sampling, compared with regular attenders (71.1% and 70.1% vs. 41.0% respectively). Among regular attenders, self-sampling was preferred more frequently by the highest occupational grade, older and lesbian, gay and bisexual women, and those with experience of blood self-tests. In the irregular attender group, older women and those with experience of blood self-tests were more likely to choose self-sampling. In ‘never attenders’, self-sampling was less popular in ethnic minority groups.

CONCLUSIONS: If offered a choice of screening, around half of women in England may choose self-sampling, but a substantial proportion would still opt for clinician screening. Screening providers will need to manage a high take-up of self-sampling if many regular attenders switch to self-sampling.

PMID:35389282 | DOI:10.1177/09691413221092246