Acceptability of Human Papillomavirus Self-Test Devices among Women from High-Risk Populations
Objective: There is growing interest in human papillomavirus (HPV) self-testing as a potential cervical cancer screening strategy, yet little is known about women’s views on different self-test devices. We examined the acceptability of several HPV self-test devices among women from two populations with cervical cancer disparities.
Methods: We conducted focus groups with Appalachian and African American women (n=34) in 2014 and 2015. Women provided both quantitative and qualitative feedback on four HPV self-test devices: Rovers® Viba-Brush (Device A [brush]); Evalyn® Brush (Device B [brush]); HerSwab® (Device C [swab]); and Delphi Screener® (Device D [lavage]). Quantitative survey items about the self-test devices used a 5-point Likert scale.
Results: Appalachian women were more willing to use Device B at home by themselves (mean=4.3) compared to Devices C (mean=2.9) and D (mean=2.5) (both p<0.05). African American women were also more willing to use Device B at home by themselves (mean=3.7) compared to Devices C (mean=2.7) and D (mean=2.4) (both p<0.05). In general, women tended to rate Devices B and A more positively than Devices C and D on device appearance and usability. Qualitative data identified several potential issues related to device appearance (e.g., color and size), usability (e.g., knowing how far to insert a device), and instructions (e.g., font size).
Conclusion: Women’s acceptability differed across the various HPV self-test devices, likely due to preferences regarding device appearance, usability, and the understandability of instructions. Findings will be highly useful for designing future HPV self-test programs and maximizing women’s participation in such programs