• Anne Julie Tybjerg
  • Maja Riisberg
4. term, Public Health, Master (Master Programme)
Background: Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide and in Denmark approximately a hundred women die from the disease every year. After the introduction of the national screening program in Denmark and other Western countries and the introduction of the HPV vaccine, the number of women with cervical cancer had been reduced significantly. However, the national goal of a participation rate of 75 % has not yet been reached, and there are still a number of women who do not participate in the regular screening for various reasons. This project aims to identify the barriers women meet in relation to screening for cervical cancer, as well as the impact an implementation of HPV self-test would have on the participation rate in cervical cancer screening and on the number of women being identified with early stages of cancer.
Methods: The project is based on a systematic literature search with a subsequent analysis and discussion to find answers using a MTV-inspired approach with technology, patient and economy aspects. A questionnaire has been conducted to further illuminate the patient perspective and barriers in a Danish context. The results regarding the patient perspective has been discussed in relation to the theory of Health Belief Model to examine the changes that potentially can provide an incentive for women to participate in cervical cancer screening. In order to examine the economic perspective, a minor economic analysis has been conducted in TreeAge based on data from the literature as well as data from a Danish pilot study that has used the self-test.
Results: The technology results indicate that HPV self-test does not match the specificity and sensitivity of the sample made by a physician, however, it is a useful supplement or alternative for women who would not otherwise participate in cervical cancer screening. The results states that screening participation would increase if a self-test was introduced in addition to the regular screening program. The patient-related results indicate that there are various barriers for women to participate in the regular screening, barriers which include physical and mental symptoms e.g. pain and embarrassment, as well as practical aspects e.g. time consumption. The economic analyses indicate that self-tests on request is a more cost-effective approach than mailing the self-test kit directly to the women.
Conclusion: The results obtained show that several barriers need to be considered if changes are to be made in women's participation in cervical cancer screening. More information for the Danish women is one approach that can potentially increase participation in screening in general. Implementation of a self-test as a supplement to the national screening can contribute to an increase in participation by eliminating the barriers that women face in relation to a Pap-smear sampling at the doctor. An increase in screening participation can lead to the discovery of more women with undiagnosed early stages of cancer and these women will be able to receive the appropriate treatment. This will ultimately mean that fewer women will develop cervical cancer and the mortality rate will be reduced.
Keywords: Cervical cancer, screening, self-test, economic evaluation, Health Belief Model.
Publication date15 Jun 2016
Number of pages100
ID: 234449692