Developing a safe and acceptable self-collection model for cervical cancer screening

Project Details

The aim of the pilot is to increase cervical cancer screening in under-screened populations by developing an acceptable and high quality model to implement HPV self-collection in clinical settings.


  1. To recommend an acceptable alternative self-collection pathway for under-screened women for the purpose of Renewal.
  2. To develop a clinical practice approach (protocols and processes) for HPV self-collection.
  3. Develop resources to support the workforce to implement self-collection pathways for under-screened women.
  4. To prepare the workforce – Aboriginal Health Workers, practice nurses, general practitioners, allied health providers and persons performing colposcopy – ahead of Renewal.

Project Summary

While many more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are empowered to seek healthcare, there are still women who experience multiple barriers to services due to their personal circumstances, lack of engagement and barriers associated with internal examination. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience nearly three times the incidence and nearly four times the mortality due to cervical cancer compared to other Australian women.

In partnership, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Indigenous Health Equity Unit of the University of Melbourne, Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC) and Victorian Cytology Service (VCS) are conducting a research project that aims to increase cervical cancer screening in under-screened women, by developing an acceptable and high quality model to implement HPV self-collection testing in clinical settings. The research is examining the findings of a series of interviews with under-screened Aboriginal women, newly arrived women and women experiencing vulnerability across Victoria who have engaged in the self-collection pilot.

BADAC was the site for Phase 1 of the project, where community consultation led and enabled the engagement of researchers to reflect on each woman’s experience.

Final Report

Self-collection pilot project - final report.


Professor Kerry Arabena

Elizabeth McLachlan


Dr Marion Saville, Victorian Cytology Service

Sandy Anderson, Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative


Funding Source:  Department of Health and Human Services,

Funding Amount: $225,000 Current

Start Date: May 2016

End Date: December 2016

Research Group

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care, Screening and early detection of disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity

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