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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2019

Age-related acceptability of vaginal self-sampling in cervical cancer screening at two university hospitals: a pilot cross-sectional study

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2019
Noely Paula Cristina Lorenzi, Lara Termini, Adhemar Longatto Filho, Maricy Tacla, Lana Maria de Aguiar, Mariana Carmezim Beldi, Edson Santos Ferreira-Filho, Edmund Chada Baracat, José Maria Soares-Júnior
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To determine whether age is a barrier against acceptability of cervicovaginal self-sampling in screening for cervical cancer at two gynecology outpatient clinics.


This is a cross-sectional study involving 116 women over 21 years of age with an abnormal Pap smear. Clinical and laboratorial data were recorded in electronic files. Women received detailed self-collection instructions. After the self-sampling procedure (Evalyn Brush®), women were instructed to answer a questionnaire about vaginal self-sampling acceptability that consisted of seven multiple-choice items. The participants were divided into three age brackets: 21 to 29 years, 30 to 49 years, and 50 years and over. Chi-square, Fischer exact, Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used.


The analysis of the participants’ perception of the procedure stratified according to age groups showed a decline in the fear of hurting oneself during the procedure as age increased. Most participants reported that it was very easy to understand how to use the self-sampling brush and that it was easy to use it. Most of them were neither embarrassed nor afraid of getting hurt during the procedure. The majority preferred self-sampling to collection by a healthcare professional. The main reason was practicality: the possibility of choosing the place and time for sampling.


The participating women found self-collection simple to understand and easy to accept regardless of age. The younger women indicated more fear and discomfort in self-sampling, which points to the need for attraction strategies that are more appealing to the younger generations.
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