A Comparison between Self and Clinician-collected Vaginal Swabs for Detection of Bacterial Vaginosis among Women in Kisumu, Kenya
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Two tests are available for diagnosis of bacterial Vaginosis (BV), Amsel and Nugent. The latter is considered more sensitive. Laboratory diagnosis for BV requires a vaginal swab specimen. In developing countries, vaginal swabs are only collected by trained health clinicians and use of speculum, examination couch and expensive equipment like autoclave is necessary. In contrast, women in developed countries have a choice of either collecting self swab or allowing a trained health clinician to collect the vaginal swab. This study sought to evaluate the validity and reliability of self collected vaginal swabs for diagnosis of BV by comparing with clinician collected ones. Ten beaches were identified based on convenience along Lake Victoria in Kisumu County from which 105 women volunteers were enrolled. Three vaginal swabs were collected from each woman. The first two swabs were self collected while the third one was collected by a qualified clinician. Smears were prepared, read and interpreted by Nugent method while demographic and clinical data were obtained by use of structured questionnaires and pelvic examination forms respectively. There was high agreement (validity) between the clinician collected and the first self collected swab, Kappa score of K=0.952 (p<0.001). The reliability of the clinician and the second self collected swab had a Kappa score of K=0.905 (p<0.001). The self collected vaginal swabs (SCVS) were found to be valid and reliable for use in diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis.
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