Experience with HPV self-sampling and clinician-based sampling in women attending routine cervical screening in the Netherlands

Nicole J. Polman, Yanne de Haan, Nienke J. Veldhuijzen, Daniëlle A. M. Heideman, Henrica C. W. de Vet, Chris J. L. M. Meijer, Leon F. A. G. Massuger, Folkert J. van Kemenade, Johannes Berkhof

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Several countries offer HPV self-sampling for screening non-attendees. It is assumed that screening attendees also prefer self-sampling to clinician-based sampling, however, little research has been conducted with respect to this. Women participating in the IMPROVE-study were randomised (1:1) to self- or clinician-collected HPV testing, and HPV-positive women were retested using the other collection method. Three different questionnaires were sent out among a subset of participating women: Q1) HPV-positive women from both study groups were asked about their experiences with self-sampling and clinician-based sampling (n = 497); Q2) HPV-negative women from the self-sampling group were asked about their experiences with self-sampling (n = 2366); and Q3) HPV-negative women in the clinician-collection group were asked about their experiences with clinician-based sampling (n = 2092). Response rates ranged from 71.6 to 79.4%. Women reported significantly lower levels of shame, nervousness, discomfort and pain during self-sampling compared to clinician-based sampling. However, trust in correct sampling was significantly higher during clinician-based sampling. The majority of women in group Q1 preferred self-sampling (76.5%) to clinician-based sampling (11.9%) in future screening, while 11.6% of women reported to have no preference for either method. To conclude, women from a regular screening population have a positive attitude towards self-sampling but express some concerns with respect to accuracy. The majority prefers self-sampling to clinician-based sampling in future screening. Based on these results, a screening approach where women can choose for either self-sampling or clinician-based sampling seems highly justifiable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-11
JournalPreventive medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Cervical screening
  • Clinician-based sampling
  • Experience
  • HPV testing
  • Preference
  • Self-sampling

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