(HealthDay News) — Combining mailed human papillomavirus (HPV) self-collection kits with appointment scheduling assistance results in greater uptake of cervical cancer screening among underscreened women from low-income backgrounds, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Researchers conducted an open-label, phase 3 trial to compare the use of mailed HPV self-collection kits and appointment scheduling assistance to the use of scheduling assistance only. The trial included patients aged 25 to 64 years who had an intact cervix, were uninsured or enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, had an income of 250% or less of the US Federal Poverty Level, and were overdue for screening.

The patients were randomly assigned to receive a mailed HPV self-collection kit and assistance for scheduling a free screening appointment (n=438) or to receive scheduling assistance alone (n=227).

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The researchers found that screening uptake was higher in the intervention group than in the control group (72% and 37%, respectively; risk ratio, 1.93).

Overall, 78% of patients in the intervention group returned a self-collection kit. When using the self-collection kit, 3 patients reported hurt or injury. None of the patients withdrew due to adverse effects.

“Our trial findings suggest that self-collection has potential to increase uptake of cervical cancer screening among underscreened adults in the USA — a group at high risk of invasive disease,” the researchers wrote.

Several researchers disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and medical technology industries.

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