Objective: The study aimed to assess acceptability and preference for self-collected human papillomavirus tests (self-HPV) compared with traditional physician-sampled Pap tests (physician sampling) in a low-resource country.
Materials and Methods: Women were recruited through a cervical cancer screening campaign conducted in Cameroon. Written and oral instructions were given to carry out an unsupervised self-HPV, followed by a physician-collected cervical sample for HPV testing and cytology. Subsequently the women were asked to answer a questionnaire.
Results: A total of 243 women were prospectively enrolled in this study. Median age of participants was 39 years (range = 25–65 years). Acceptability score was higher for self-HPV (p < .001) compared with physician sampling. Preference was lower for self-HPV than physician sampling (29% vs 62%; p < .001). Most participants thought that physician sampling was more reliable than self-HPV (59% vs 1%; p < .001). Women who preferred physician sampling were significantly more likely to have low knowledge about cervical cancer and a low educational level.
Conclusions: Although most of the women were more comfortable and less embarrassed with the self-HPV, they did not trust the method and did prefer physician sampling. The study underlines the need not only to educate women about HPV, cervical cancer, and its prevention but also to reassure them about the accuracy of self-HPV.