HealthDay News — Mailing human papillomavirus (HPV) kits to underscreened women is associated with increased screening uptake but does not significantly increase precancer detection or treatment, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

Rachel L. Winer, PhD, MPH, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a randomized clinical trial involving women aged 30 to 64 years with a primary care physician and no Papanicolaou test within 3 years and 5 months. The control group received usual care (annual patient reminders and ad hoc outreach; 9891 women), while the intervention group also received a mailed HPV self-sampling kit (9960 women).

The researchers found that in the intervention and control groups, 12 and 8 women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse were detected, respectively (relative risk, 1.49; 95% confidence interval, 0.61 to 3.64) and 12 versus 7 cases were treated (relative risk, 1.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.67 to 4.32). However, the intervention group did have higher screening uptake (26.3 versus 17.4%; relative risk, 1.51; 95% confidence interval, 1.43 to 1.60).

Health care systems in the United States considering implementing primary HPV screening and outreach strategies with HPV self-sampling should focus on approaches to increase kit uptake and follow-up of positive results,” the authors write. “Additional research efforts should consider a variety of strategies to increase cervical cancer screening.”

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