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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Acceptability of self-sampling in Portuguese women: the good, the bad or the ugly?

Jani Silva A B C D , Fátima Cerqueira C E and Rui Medeiros A C D F

A Molecular Oncology and Viral Pathology GRP–IC, Portuguese Institute of Oncology of Porto (IPO Porto), Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 4200-072, Porto, Portugal.

B Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Alameda Prof. Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319, Porto, Portugal.

C FP-ENAS Research Unit, UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit, CEBIMED, Biomedical Research Centre, Fernando Pessoa University, Praça 9 de Abril, 349, 4249-004, Porto, Portugal.

D LPCC, Research Department – Portuguese League Against Cancer (LPPC–NRN), Estrada Interior da Circunvalação, 4200-172, Porto, Portugal.

E CIIMAR/CIMAR, Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Terminal dos Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos S/N, 4450-208, Matosinhos, Portugal.

F Corresponding author. Email: ruimedei@ipoporto.min-saude.pt

Sexual Health - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH16077
Submitted: 3 May 2016  Accepted: 26 October 2016   Published online: 9 January 2017

Abstract

Background: Self-sampling is a less costly approach that has been used for human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 313 Portuguese women assessed the acceptability of cervicovaginal self-sampling. Results: Self-sampling was a well-accepted method [75.7%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 70.5–80.2], and the majority of women felt no pain (67.4%; 95% CI 61.9–72.5), no discomfort (70.9%; 95% CI 65.5–75.8) and no complexity (76.4%; 95% CI 71.2–80.9). The willingness to repeat self-sampling was high (89.5%; 95% CI 85.4–92.5). Compared to physician-sampling, women reported a preference for self-sampling (58.1%; 95% CI 52.5–63.6), as it was more comfortable (67.1%; 95% CI 61.5–72.2) and caused less pain (16.3%; 95% CI 12.5–20.9) and embarrassment (13.4%; 95% CI 9.9–17.8). Conclusion: Offering self-sampling for HPV testing may improve screening participation rates and overcome women’s embarrassment regarding physician examination.

Additional keywords: acceptance, cervical cancer, HPV, physician-sampling, prevention, self-collected samples.


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