In the present pilot study, the feasibility of a site-of-care cervicovaginal self-sampling methodology for HPV-based screening was tested in 346 women residing in underserved rural areas of Northern Greece. These women provided self-collected cervicovaginal sample along with a study questionnaire. Following molecular testing, using the cobas® HPV Test, Roche®, HPV positive women, were referred to colposcopy and upon abnormal findings, to biopsy and treatment. Participation rate was 100%. Regular pap-test examination was reported for 17.1%. Among hrHPV testing, 11.9% were positive and colposcopy/biopsy revealed 2 CIN3 cases. Non-compliance was the most prevalent reason for no previous attendance. Most women reported non-difficulty and non-discomfort in self-sampling (77.6% and 82.4%, respectively). They would choose self-sampling over clinician-sampling (86.2%), and should self-sampling being available, they would test themselves more regularly (92.3%). In conclusion, self-sampling is feasible and well-accepted for HPV-based screening, and could increase population coverage in underserved areas, helping towards successful prevention.
Keywords: HPV DNA testing; Self-sampling; cervical cancer screening; human papillomavirus; low resource setting.