Assessing women's willingness to collect their own cervical samples for HPV testing as part of the ASPIRE cervical cancer screening project in Uganda

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011 Aug;114(2):111-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.01.028. Epub 2011 Jun 12.


Objective: To assess women's willingness to collect their own samples for HPV testing as the first part of a screening program for cervical cancer in Uganda.

Methods: In March and April 2010, trained assistants from Kisenyi interviewed 300 women aged 30 to 65 years who lived and/or worked in this community. Descriptive data and multivariate modeling were used to identify the predictors of the women's willingness to collect their own cervical samples.

Results: More than 80% of the 300 participants were willing to collect their own samples. In multivariate modeling, factors positively associated with this willingness were agreement to let outreach workers deliver the necessary swab at their homes (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 4.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.83-9.18) and willingness to undergo a pelvic examination if the sample was abnormal (AOR, 3.91; 95% CI,1.03-14.90). Factors negatively associated were embarrassment at collecting the sample at home where they lacked privacy (AOR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.03-0.29) and concern of not collecting the sample properly (AOR, 0.1; 95% CI, 0.05-0.3).

Conclusion: Self-collection is an option in impoverished settings in Africa. To improve acceptability, women should be taught how to properly collect their own cervical sample and encouraged to find ways to make the collection less embarrassing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Early Detection of Cancer / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gynecological Examination / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Uganda / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Vaginal Smears / psychology*