Research Mentor(s): Diane Harper, Professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Family Medicine, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 2 (11am – 11:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 14
The Michigan Self-Screening Home Health (MISSH) 2 research project that is being done by the Harper Lab is about research on HPV (human papillomavirus) at-home testing kits that could potentially be the future of cervical cancer screening. Getting screened for cervical cancer is important for many reasons. HPV causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer and there are different strains, including HPV 16 and 18, which are considered high risk for developing into cervical cancer. If women get tested regularly, these strains can be detected early and any issues can be treated before developing into cervical cancer. Traditionally, cervical cancer screening has been done by a doctor using methods such as a Pap Smear, which collects cells from the cervix and looks to see if they show any changes caused by an HPV infection. These tests can feel invasive or not be accessible for many people. To increase cervical cancer screening, the Harper Lab is looking into new HPV self-screening devices that can be used at home without the need to go to the doctor. MISSH is sending volunteers HPV at-home testing kits, participants are either able to choose 1 of the 2 kits or are asked to try both of the testing kits. After using the kits they answer some questions through phone surveys conducted by the MISSH 2 staff in which they are asked how they felt about the kit they chose or which of the 2 kits they preferred. They are also asked if they prefer these testing kits to the standard Pap screening that the Doctor performs. MISSH 2 is still an ongoing project that is still conducting surveys of participants but we hope to see a preference for these at-home testing kits for HPV and see if people would be more willing to get screened for cervical cancer using this method.