Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine - Barts and The London

Cervical Screening and HPV Control

Centre for Cancer Prevention

Funding Body:  Cancer Research UK

Project Investigator:  Peter Sasieni


Self-sampling for HPV testing in primary care

Self-sampling for HPV (human papillomavirus) testing can overcome many of the barriers associated with cervical screening, including embarrassment, discomfort and the need to attend appointments.

It enables women to take a sample at a time and place of their choosing, without a pelvic examination. Although there are drawbacks in test performance, these would be offset by the increase in screening coverage.

Various approaches have been studied including sending self-sampling kits directly to women or asking women to order kits over the phone. Response rates have been variable (8.7-52.1%) and it is unclear what the most effective approach is. Although GPs and nurses offer vulvo-vaginal self-testing kits opportunistically as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme, such an approach has not been evaluated for cervical screening non-attenders.

It has the advantage of in-person contact with a population who are difficult to engage and fewer wasted self-sampling kits because they are handed directly to women.

Given the busy and complex clinical setting of GP primary care, we are carrying out a pilot study to determine the feasibility and acceptability of offering self-sampling to non-attenders in primary care. The pilot will serve to address practical and logistical issues and will help streamline the design for a larger randomised trial.

Other projects include: Novel cervical screening technologies and DNA methylation as a biomarker to detect high grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia.


Peter Sasieni
Email: p.sasieni@qmul.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7882 3544