SelfSampling Versus Physicians' Sampling for Cervical Cancer Screening Agreement of Cytological Diagnoses

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016;17(7):3489-94.


Background: A major problem with cervical cancer screening in countries which have no organized national screening program for cervical cancer is suboptimal participation. Implementation of selfsampling method may increase the coverage.

Objective: We determined the agreement of cytological diagnoses made on samples collected by women themselves (selfsampling) versus samples collected by physicians (Physician sampling).

Materials and methods: We invited women volunteers to undergo two procedures; cervical selfsampling using the Evalyn brush and physician sampling using a Cervex brush. The women were shown a video presentation on how to take their own cervical samples before the procedure. The samples taken by physicians were taken as per routine testing (Gold Standard). All samples were subjected to Thin Prep monolayer smears. The diagnoses made were according to the Bethesda classification. The results from these two sampling methods were analysed and compared.

Results: A total of 367 women were recruited into the study, ranging from 22 to 65 years age. There was a significant good agreement of the cytological diagnoses made on the samples from the two sampling methods with the Kappa value of 0.568 (p=0.040). Using the cytological smears taken by physicians as the gold standard, the sensitivity of selfsampling was 71.9% (95% CI:70.972.8), the specificity was 86.6% (95% CI:85.7 87.5), the positive predictive value was 74.2% (95% CI:73.375.1) and the negative predictive value was 85.1% (95% CI: 84.286.0). Selfsampling smears (22.9%) allowed detection of microorganisms better than physicians samples (18.5%).

Conclusions: This study shows that samples taken by women themselves (selfsampling) and physicians have good diagnostic agreement. Selfsampling could be the method of choice in countries in which the coverage of women attending clinics for screening for cervical cancer is poor.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Choice Behavior
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians
  • Self Care / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Vaginal Smears / methods
  • Young Adult