Introduction This is a novel, pilot study aimed to analyse training of ASHAs by telemedicine for counselling women for cervical cancer screening by HPV Self-Sampling.
Methods This study is a pilot, community-based, prospective, single-arm study. Physicians trained the ASHA workers over telephone using videos, e-pamphlets and video conferencing regarding self-sampling HPV testing, who in turn trained the clients in community. Self-sampling HPV kits were transported via courier.
Results 465 women of age group 30–65 years were tested by 47 tele-trained ASHA workers. The mean age of ASHA worker and clients was 39.47±6.45 and 37.26+8.38 years, respectively. Almost half (53%) of the ASHA worker were educated till intermediate standard. The time taken to train ASHA workers via telephone was 26.51±4.18 minutes. 91.7% of the ASHA worker were satisfied with the information provided during tele-counselling. Each ASHA recruited ten clients on an average. 95.8% of the ASHAs felt it as easy to explain the clients. The acceptability of this strategy among clients was 56%. The feasibility of this strategy (percentage of clients who find it easy/those who did self-sampling) was 99%. Half of the women (48.9%) cited ‘feeling uncomfortable’ as the reason for not wanting to get screened. Among those screened, 11% were hrHPV positive and 68% were willing for follow-up. Table 1: Characteristics of ASHAs and Patients
Conclusions Conclusion: The current study highlights a novel strategy incorporating the role of telemedicine in training ASHA worker for the self-sampling of HPV for cervical cancer screening, with promising results. The study is funded by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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