Traditionally getting screened for cervical cancer has involved getting a Pap smear, which is competed by a healthcare provider through a speculum exam. However, for a variety of reasons, many women do not make it in to see their healthcare provider or are not comfortable with this kind of exam and therefore do not get screened. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has approved primary HPV screening as a highly efficient method for screening for cervical cancer for women ages 30-65 (Curry, et al., 2018). Because it is now possible to screen many patients for cervical cancer with an HPV test alone, there are new opportunities for the development of novel screening methods that do not involve a speculum exam. This includes HPV self-sampling that can be completed by patients themselves at the clinic or at home and sent through the mail for testing. Dr. Harper and colleagues are conducting research into these new screening options to assess the acceptability and feasibility of home-based and self-sampling cervical cancer screening methods among currently under-screened populations. The ultimate goal is to generate the data needed for FDA approval of HPV self-sampling devices for cervical cancer screening, thereby increasing the options available to patients in the clinical setting.

MISSH 1 - The concordance of vaginal and urine self-sampling methods for high risk HPV detection

The Harper Lab is interested in comparing urine self-sample, vaginal self-sample, and physician-collected sample for cervical cancer screening by detecting HPV. This study is recruiting patients across Michigan Medicine clinics.

MISSH 2 - The consumer response to vaginal and urine self-sampling methods for high risk HPV detection

This study is in partnership with community clinics across the state of Michigan to understand whether participants perceive the at-home cervical cancer screening model as acceptable and whether the at-home screening is practical among under screened populations. The at-home screening is carried out through the mail and over the telephone.

MISSH 3 - Improving the Accessibility of Women’s Healthcare: Home-Based Cervical Cancer Screening

Similar to MISSH 2, this study is working with participant’s with physical disabilities to understand if at-home cervical cancer screening is both an acceptable screening method and whether it is practical. In-depth interviews are carried out with participants across the United States to understand barriers and facilitators to cervical cancer screening for people with physical disabilities.