Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
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.