INTRODUCTION: Evidence shows that women in sub-Saharan Africa have high rates of cervical cancer (CC) mortality compared with women in high-income countries. Effective screening programs have significantly reduced the burden of CC in high-income countries. Self-sampling for human papillomavirus testing (HPVSS) has been reported to increase the participation and engagement of women in CC screening. Before HPVSS can be introduced for CC screening there is a need to establish its acceptability among end-users to ensure the increase in CC screening rates. Here, we outline a protocol for a scoping review aimed at mapping literature on the use and acceptability of HPVSS for screening CC in sub-Saharan Africa to reveal gaps to guide future research and practice.
METHOD: The scoping review protocol was developed according to Arksey and O'Malley and Levac et al, and guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews. We will search Scopus, PubMed, Medline Ovid, Cochrane and Web of Science databases for evidence on the use and acceptability of HPVSS published between January 2011 and July 2021. We will also search grey literature in the form of dissertations/theses, conference proceedings, websites of international organisations such as the WHO, and relevant government reports reporting evidence on HPVSS programmes for screening CC among women in sub-Saharan Africa.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No ethical approval is needed for the study as it will not include animals or human participants. The results of the proposed scoping review will be disseminated electronically in peer-reviewed journals, in print and through conference presentations.