Women's Health

HPV Self-Screening May Increase Screening Rates, Reduce Cost

Results of a new study show that self-screening for human papillomavirus (HPV) may help improve cervical cancer screening rates among women living in rural areas. This research was presented at American Academy of Physician Assistants 2021.

“HPV self-screening is an adequately accurate way to increase screening rates for women residing in low-resource settings, such as rural America, and lack access to traditional screening,” the researchers wrote.

To conduct their study, the researchers performed a literature review of all studies published between 2015 and 2020 on cervical cancer self-screening in adult women.

The analysis showed that self-screening participation rates had increased among women in hard-to-reach areas who would have otherwise been under-screened or not screened at all. Moreover, the researchers also found that self-screening may potentially reduce the overall screening costs for women.

“Future efforts should be directed toward research within the US health care system, with focus on best ways for community education, how to identify which women need screening, as well as ways to increase follow-up after a positive result despite certain barriers, such as lack of health insurance,” the researchers wrote.

“As it stands, cervical cancer screening guidelines in the US are robust and dynamic. However, with more research, HPV self-sampling could be a viable option to increase screening rates in rural, under-screened US women,” the researchers wrote.

—Amanda Balbi


Baharie N, Erickson J. Cervical cancer screening via HPV self-testing: Is this a screening method that can be used to increase participation rates for rural US women? Paper presented at: American Academy of Physician Assistants 2021; May 23-26, 2021; virtual.