Protocol for the formative phase of a trial (SHE-CAN) to test co-designed implementation strategies for HPV-based cervical screening among vulnerable women in two diverse settings in India
Oommen, A. M., Basu, P., Cherian, A. G., Zomawia, E., Manoharan, R., Pricilla, R. A., Viswanathan, V., Oldenburg, B., Subramanian, S., Hawkes, D., Saville, M., Brotherton, J. M. L., & SHE-CAN collaborators (2023). Protocol for the formative phase of a trial (SHE-CAN) to test co-designed implementation strategies for HPV-based cervical screening among vulnerable women in two diverse settings in India. Implementation science communications, 4(1), Article 62. https://doi.org/10.1186/s43058-023-00436-0
BACKGROUND: In view of the WHO's call for the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem, and current low screening coverage, Indian policy makers need evidence on how to effectively implement cervical screening programmes, ensuring equity in access. Our study will follow the INSPIRE implementation framework to co-design and test HPV-based screening approaches in two states of India with different health system organisation, based on understanding the status of screening as currently implemented, readiness and challenges to transition to HPV-based screening, and preferences of key stakeholders. Here, we describe our protocol for the formative phase of the study (SHE-CAN).
METHODS: The study population includes women from vulnerable populations, defined as residents of tribal areas, rural villages, and urban slums, in the states of Mizoram and Tamil Nadu. The baseline assessment will use mixed methods research, with desktop reviews, qualitative studies, and surveys. A capacity assessment survey of screening and treatment facilities will be done, followed by interviews with healthcare providers, programme managers, and community health workers. Interviews will be conducted with previously screened women and focus group discussions with under and never-screened women and community members. Stakeholder workshops will be held in each state to co-design the approaches to delivering HPV-based screening among 30-49-year-old women.
DISCUSSION: The quality and outcomes of existing screening services, readiness to transition to HPV-based screening, challenges in providing and participating in the cervical cancer care continuum, and acceptability of screening and treatment approaches will be examined. The knowledge gained about the current system, as well as recognition of actions to be taken, will inform a stakeholder workshop to co-design and evaluate implementation approaches for HPV-based screening through a cluster randomised implementation trial.