A comparison of cytology with Pap smears taken by a gynecologist and with a self-sampling device

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. Apr-Jun 2003;4(2):99-102.


Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in Thai women and as yet screening programmes are minimally effective. The Pap smear is the test accepted to be most appropriate for cervical cancer screening so far. One of the main reasons why women do not come to have Pap smear done is "shyness", which weakens compliance with recommendations to undergo Pap smear with pelvic examination. The self-administered device by the Kato method was established to overcome this problem and the present study was carried out to confirm the adequacy of the specimens obtained with this technique in comparison with specimens collected by gynecologists. Two hundred women were invited to participate in the study voluntarily. Each was allocated to have a Pap smear conducted by a gynecologist and then instructed to produce a self-obtained smear using Kato's device. The cytology results of Pap smears from both methods were compared to test for agreement using Kappa statistics. There was agreement between the adequacy of smears collected by gynecologists and those self-sampled with the percentage agreement of 96.5% and a Kappa score of 0.43 (95% CI 0.33-0.54, P<0.001). There were 8 cases detected as epithelial cell abnormalities from the cervical cells collected by gynecologists and also with the self-administered technique. Good agreement for detection of cellular changes was found with a percentage of 78.0% and the Kappa's score was 0.61 (95% CI 0.46-0.76, P<0.001). The results from this study provide convincing evidence that the self-administered device can be an alternative choice for women who are too shy to undergo pelvic examination or even for those who have limited time to visit health care centers or doctors to have a Pap smear test.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / diagnosis
  • Gynecology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infections / diagnosis
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Self Care*
  • Thailand / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Vaginal Smears* / instrumentation
  • Vaginal Smears* / methods