Mailed HPV kits increase screening uptake 72%, UNC finds

Chapel Hill-based University of North Carolina researchers found mailing human papillomavirus self-collection tests to under-screened, low-income women nearly doubles the number of screenings completed.

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers collaborated on a My Body, My Test-3 study, which recruited 665 uninsured or Medicaid- or Medicare-enrolled women in North Carolina, according to a May 11 university news release shared with Becker's. None had a pap test in four years or a high-risk HPV test in six years. Two-thirds of the women received mailed HPV self-collection kits and assistance with scheduling a screening appointment while the other third received only screening scheduling assistance. 

Screening uptake was 72 percent among women with the mailed HPV kit compared to 37 percent for the control group. The uptake did not vary across age, race, insurance, education or time since last screening,

"Home screening for cervical cancer puts women in control. Most can avoid having to go to a physician's appointment. These at-home kits can better reach people without access to screening, who are embarrassed by a cervical exam, or whose religious beliefs include modesty," study co-author Noel Brewer, PhD, a  public health professor and UNC Lineberger member, said in the release.

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