We developed all database searches in collaboration with our research librarian. The searches, available in Supplementary File 5 for KQs 1, 2, and 4, have been peer reviewed by an external librarian according to PRESS (Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies) guidance [105]. The searches for KQ 5 will be updated from previous reviews [63, 106, 107], with adaptations as needed. Unless otherwise indicated, all searches will be limited to studies published in English or French. We will not apply geographic filters to any of the searches. For KQ 1, we will contact five content experts by e-mail to inquire about their knowledge of additional relevant studies. We will contact each expert twice, 2 weeks apart, before ceasing contact if we do not receive a reply. In all cases, we will also search the reference lists of the included studies and of relevant systematic reviews identified during screening for additional records. We will search ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform for ongoing trials. Although we will exclude studies available only as conference proceedings, letters, or abstracts, we will contact the corresponding authors twice, 2 weeks apart, to ask about relevant full reports before ceasing contact if we do not receive a reply. The following are details of the strategies specific to each KQ. The results of the electronic database searches for all KQs will ultimately be combined into a single database (removing duplicates) to create efficiencies in screening (due to inevitable overlap across the searches).

For KQ 1, we will search Ovid Medline (1946-), Ovid Embase (1996-), and Cochrane Central (1996-) from 1995 onward using MeSH terms and keywords for cervical cancer and screening, and study design filters for RCTs and observational studies. We have chosen to develop and run de novo searches rather than updating the searches from the 2013 CTFPHC guideline review because that review did not include the incidence of CIN as an outcome, nor screening with hrHPV.

For KQ 2, we will integrate studies from the 2019 health technology assessment (HTA) on HPV testing for primary screening for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) [63] and the 2018 systematic review by Arbyn et al. [106] on the comparative accuracy of self- vs. clinician-sampled hrHPV tests. We will update the searches for the CADTH review in Ovid Medline (1946-), Ovid Embase (1996-), and Cochrane Central (1996-) from 2016 onward to identify studies published after the last date searched (March 2017 for the full search), undertaking edits to the searches as necessary (e.g. removing concepts that are not relevant to our KQ 2). We will update the searches for the Arbyn et al. review in the same databases from 2017 onward (last date searched, April 2018). We anticipate the possibility that an update to the systematic review by Arbyn et al. may become available before we undertake our review for KQ 2. If such is the case, we will use the updated review as is without de novo searches or syntheses for the comparison of self- and clinician-sampled hrHPV testing.

CADTH sought to include systematic reviews and subsequently searched for primary studies published after the most recent systematic review. The inclusion of systematic reviews is not consistent with standard Task Force procedures for evidence synthesis [85]. Thus, we will supplement the updated database searches by screening the reference lists of the systematic reviews included in the CADTH HTA to identify the primary studies published prior to 2016.

For KQ 4, we will search Ovid Medline (1946-), Scopus (2004-), and EconLit (1886-) from 2000 onward using MeSH terms and keywords for cervical cancer, preferences and preference-based methods (e.g. conjoint analysis, trade-off), decision making, and attitudes.

For KQ 5, we will integrate studies (eligible for our review) from the 2011 Cochrane systematic review by Everett et al. on interventions to encourage cervical screening uptake [107] and the 2018 systematic review by Arbyn et al. on hrHPV self-sampling compared with reminders to encourage cervical screening rates [106]. The Cochrane review by Everett et al. included studies of interventions targeted at women to improve cervical screening rates, compared with no intervention or routine care [107]. We will update the Ovid Medline (1946-), Ovid Embase (1996-), and Cochrane Central (1996-) searches from 2008 onward to identify contemporary studies not included in the Cochrane review, undertaking edits to the searches as necessary. We expect the update search to capture studies of hrHPV self-sampling compared with reminders (as per Arbyn et al.’s review), and other effectiveness studies published since the last date searched in the review by Everett et al. As per KQ 2, we anticipate the possibility that an update to the systematic review by Arbyn et al. may become available before we undertake our review for KQ 5. If such is the case, we will use the updated review as is without de novo searches or syntheses for the comparison of self- and clinician-sampled hrHPV testing.

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