1. This study identified positive aspects of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling, included privacy and modesty, convenience, increased comfort and decreased pain amongst Muslim women.

2. The negative aspects of HPV self-sampling included religious taboo, low self-confidence in administering the test, and the perceived cost.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Although cervical cancer is a preventable disease with the appropriate screening tests, religious and cultural factors may lead certain women to forego screening. Muslim women in particular have been found to be more likely to have a late presentation of female cancers due to cultural factors. HPV self-sampling may provide a culturally sensitive alternative; however, its acceptance among Muslim women has not yet been studied. As a result, the objective of the present systematic review was to summarize the perceptions of Muslim women with respect to HPV self-sampling.

Of 98 identified studies, 7 (participant range from 30-839) were included in the final analysis from 2016-2020. Studies were included if they evaluated the acceptance of HPV self-sampling among Muslim women. Studies were excluded if they evaluated perception of cervical cancer screening in general. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) was used to evaluate the quality of the studies. Data analysis was done using the thematic analysis method.

The results demonstrated that the positive aspects of HPV self-sampling included privacy and modesty, convenience, increased comfort, and decreased pain among Muslim women. Alternatively, the negative aspects of HPV self-sampling included religious taboo, low self-confidence in administering the test and the perceived cost. However, this study was limited by the inclusion of only one study that used a qualitative method which would have aided in understanding the underlying reasons and concerns of Muslim women. Nonetheless, this study was the first to synthesize the acceptance of the HPV self-sampling test among Muslim women and provides insight into its potential clinical utility.

Click to read the study in Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention

Image: PD

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