Background: Research shows a high prevalence of sexual transmitted infections (STIs) among sexually active women throughout the world. Patient self-testing and self-sampling strategies are pivotal to facilitate rapid diagnosis of disease among key populations. The main objective of this study is to map evidence on self-sampling methods utilised to facilitate STIs diagnosis among women.
Methods: We propose to conduct a scoping review, which will be guided by Arksey and O’Malley framework, Levac et al, 2010 and the Joanna Briggs Institution 2015 recommendations. We will conduct a database search for relevant peer-reviewed articles to answer our research question. We will search the following databases: PubMed, Google Scholar, Journal Storage, Science Direct, Web of Science, and MEDLINE (via EBSCOHost). We will also search for grey literature from World Health Organisation (WHO) and Department of Health websites. We will present the results of the review following the Preferred Resulting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR). We will employ Nvivo version 12 for thematic content analysis of the included studies. We will conduct quality appraisal of the included studies using the Mixed Method Appraisal Tool (MMAT)-version 2018.
Discussion: It is anticipated that findings of this scoping review will highlight gaps for further investigation to address the global burden of STIs. This could assist policy makers and developers of diagnostic equipment to develop evidence-based interventions to enable self-sampling and early diagnosis of STIs among women.
Systematic Review Registration
Submitted to Open Science Framework on 25 July 2020.