Clinician and Patient Acceptability of Self-Collected Human Papillomavirus Testing for Cervical Cancer Screening

Constance Mao, Shalini L Kulasingam, Hilary K. Whitham, Stephen E. Hawes, John Lin, Nancy B. Kiviat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: To evaluate clinician and patient attitudes toward home self-collected human papillomavirus (HPV) testing for cervical cancer screening. Methods: Women aged 21-65 years were recruited for a randomized trial comparing home self-collected HPV testing to standard clinician-collected Pap screening. Participants were surveyed about their attitudes toward self-collected HPV testing. Clinicians performing cervical cancer screening in University of Washington medical clinics were also surveyed to determine their acceptability of self-collected HPV testing. Results: Over half (59.1%) of the 1,769 women surveyed preferred self-collected HPV testing to clinician-collected tests. Reasons most often cited were convenience or time saving (82.7%), and avoiding embarrassment or discomfort associated with pelvic exam (38.1%). Women who did not prefer self-collected HPV testing reported greater faith in clinician-collected samples (56.7%) or a desire for a clinic visit to address other issues (42.4%). One hundred eighteen (49.6%) of 238 physicians and midlevel providers surveyed completed the survey. The majority (78.0%) reported that they would recommend a self-collected HPV test if the test had qualities such as high sensitivity and cost effectiveness. Provider concerns mirrored those of patients, namely ensuring adequate sample collection and the opportunity to address other health concerns. Conclusion: Patients and clinicians are supportive of self-collected HPV testing. However, concerns regarding adequacy of samples that are self collected and the desire to see a provider in a clinic setting for other health needs highlight areas that need to be addressed if self collection proves to be a viable option for cervical cancer screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-615
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by National Institutes of Health NIH R01 R01-CA-15469. Registered at NCT01550783 study conducted in Seattle, Washington.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


  • HPV
  • Pap
  • Self-collected
  • cervical cancer
  • screening


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