Feasibility of At-Home Self-Sampling for HPV Testing as an Appropriate Screening Strategy for Nonparticipants in Switzerland: Preliminary Results of the DEPIST Study

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Abstract

Objective

Nonattendees to cervical cancer screening are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer. This study assessed women’s willingness to perform a home-based self-sampling for human papillomavirus testing (Self-HPV) and explored the feasibility of establishing a home-based Self-HPV screening strategy in Switzerland.

Materials and Methods

Underscreened women (n = 158) who had not underwent a Pap test in the preceding 3 years were recruited between September 2011 and September 2013. Participants completed 2 questionnaires evaluating reasons for non-attendance at a screening program, sociodemographic issues, and satisfaction with and acceptability of the Self-HPV. Descriptive data and multivariate logistic regression were used to identify variables associated with women’s willingness to perform at-home self-sampling for HPV testing.

Results

Lack of time because of work or childcare was the most common reason for nonattendance at a screening program. One hundred six women (82%) preferred the Self-HPV because it is easy to perform, convenient, comfortable, and private. Women were more likely to accept the Self-HPV as a future screening strategy if they had missed cervical cancer screening in the past because of lack of time (odds ratio [OR] = 6.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6–23.6; p < .01). Twenty-six women felt pain during self-sampling. Previous negative experiences with screening and stress during sampling were associated with higher risk for pain (OR = 7.14, 95% CI = 2.0–25.3, p < .01 and OR = 4.73, 95% CI = 1.5–14.5, p < .01, respectively).

Conclusions

The Self-HPV was accepted by nonattendees of cervical cancer screening programs. Self-sampling may promote screening among the unscreened and underscreened population of women in Switzerland while overcoming some practical barriers.

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