Increasing participation in cervical cancer screening: offering a HPV self-test to long-term non-attendees as part of RACOMIP, a Swedish randomized controlled trial

Int J Cancer. 2014 May 1;134(9):2223-30. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28545. Epub 2013 Oct 31.


RACOMIP is a population-based, randomized trial of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different interventions aimed at increasing participation in a well-run cervical cancer screening program in western Sweden. In this article, we report results from one intervention, offering non-attendees a high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) self-test. Comparison was made with standard screening invitation routine or standard routine plus a telephone call. Women (8,800), aged 30-62, were randomly selected among women without a registered Pap smear in the two latest screening rounds. These women were randomized 1:5:5 to one of three arms: 800 were offered a high-risk HPV self-test, 4,000 were randomized to a telephone call (reported previously) and 4,000 constituted a control group (standard screening invitation routine). Results were based on intention to treat analysis and cost-effectiveness was calculated as marginal cost per cancer case prevented. The endpoint was the frequency of testing. The total response rate in the self-testing arm was 24.5%, significantly higher than in the telephone arm (18%, RR 1.36, 95% CI 1.19-1.57) and the control group (10.6%, RR 2.33, 95% CI 2.00-2.71). All nine women who tested positive for high-risk HPV attended for a cervical smear and colposcopy. From the health-care sector perspective, the intervention will most likely lead to no additional cost. Offering a self-test for HPV as an alternative to Pap smears increases participation among long-term non-attendees. Offering various screening options can be a successful method for increasing participation in this group.

Keywords: HPV; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; mass screening; non-attendance; papanicolaou smear.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Early Detection of Cancer / economics
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Self Care / economics
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Sweden
  • Telephone
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Vaginal Smears