TUESDAY, May 23, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Mailed human papillomavirus (HPV) self-collection kits with appointment-scheduling assistance results in greater uptake of cervical cancer screening among underscreened women from low-income backgrounds, according to a study published online May 11 in The Lancet Public Health.

Peyton K. Pretsch, M.P.H., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted an open-label, phase 3 trial to examine the efficacy of mailed HPV self-collection kits with appointment scheduling assistance to increase uptake of cervical cancer screening among underscreened women compared with scheduling assistance only. Participants aged 25 to 64 years, with an intact cervix, who were uninsured or enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, with an income of 250 percent or less of the U.S. Federal Poverty Level, who were overdue for screening were randomly assigned to receive a mailed HPV self-collection kit and assistance for scheduling a free screening appointment or to receive scheduling assistance alone (438 and 227 women, respectively, in the primary analysis).

The researchers found that screening uptake was higher in the intervention versus the control group (72 versus 37 percent; risk ratio, 1.93). Seventy-eight percent of the intervention participants returned a self-collection kit. When using the self-collection kit, three participants reported hurt or injury; none of the participants withdrew due to adverse effects.

“Our trial findings suggest that self-collection has potential to increase uptake of cervical cancer screening among underscreened adults in the USA — a group at high risk of invasive disease,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and medical technology industries.

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