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Self-Collected versus Clinician Collected Samples for Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing in Women: A Review of Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Cost-Effectiveness, and Guidelines

Last updated: June 22, 2016
Project Number: RC0787-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Other Diagnostics
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the comparative effectiveness of testing for sexually transmitted infections in women using self-collected versus clinician-collected samples?
  2. What is the cost-effectiveness of testing for sexually transmitted infections in women using self-collected versus clinician-collected samples?
  3. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of self-collected samples to test for sexually transmitted infections in women?

Key Message

One systematic review and nine screening test accuracy studies were identified relating to the comparative clinical effectiveness of testing for sexually transmitted infection in women using self-collected versus clinician-collected samples. Based on the identified published literature, self-collected samples were commonly associated with high sensitivity and high specificity in comparison with samples collected by clinicians. Study findings also revealed that there was good agreement between the two sampling methods. Two published economic evaluations were identified regarding the comparative cost-effectiveness of self-collected versus clinician-collected samples for STI testing in women. Findings revealed that a home-based self-sampling strategy may be cost-effective in comparison with standard clinic STI testing and collection of specimens by clinicians. However, results warrant careful interpretation owing to shortcoming in the economic model and limited applicability to the Canadian setting.  No relevant published evidence-based guidelines were identified regarding the use of self-collected samples for STI testing in women.