HPV self-sampling in Japanese women: A feasibility study in a population with limited experience of tampon use

Sharon J. B. Hanley, Hiromasa Fujita, Susumu Yokoyama, Shiori Kunisawa, Akiko Tamakoshi, Peixin Dong, Noriko Kobayashi, Hidemichi Watari, Masataka Kudo, Noriaki Sakuragi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Cervical cancer incidence and mortality is increasing in Japanese women under age 50. Screening uptake is low and proactive recommendations for human papillomavirus vaccination have been suspended. Other cervical cancer prevention initiatives are urgently needed. We assessed whether human papillomavirus self-sampling might be an acceptable alternative to physician-led screening, particularly in women with limited experience of tampon use. We also sought to identify any practical, logistical, or safety issues in women already attending for screening, before carrying out further large-scale studies in non-responders.
In total, 203 women aged 20–49 attending their annual workplace healthcheck in Sapporo, northern Japan, performed unsupervised human papillomavirus self-sampling before undergoing a physician-led cervical smear and human papillomavirus test, and completing a measure of acceptability for both tests.
Ninety per cent of participants stated they would use self-sampling again. They found instructions easy to follow and reported no issues with the usability of the self-sampling device. Compared with physician-led testing, women found self-sampling significantly less painful, less embarrassing and could relax more (p Conclusions
Self-sampling was highly acceptable in this population of women. They could perform the test safely unsupervised, but lacked confidence the test has been carried out correctly. Japanese women need to be educated about the accuracy of human papillomavirus self-sampling and further large-scale studies are necessary in non-responders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Screening
Issue number3
Early online date7 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

We thank Louise Cadman and the late Anne Szarewski of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, and Jo Waller of the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London, for their invaluable help and cooperation with the questionnaire. We also express our sincere gratitude to all the women who took part in the study.
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Qiagen Japan provided the self-sampling kits and Mitsubishi Chemical Medience Corporation Japan performed HPV testing. Both were free of charge. Neither company had any role in the design, data analysis or writing up of the study.


  • cervical cancer
  • screening
  • human papillomavirus self sampling
  • tampon use


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