The Isbaar Project


The Isbaar Project

In a partnership between University of Washington, the University of Minnesota, M Health Fairview and People's Center Clinics and Services, this study will assess the implementation of an HPV self-sampling intervention in primary care that is culturally-tailored for Somali women and designed to increase cervical cancer screening participation. Primary care clinic-based HPV self-sampling could effectively increase cervical cancer screening rates in Somali women by positioning providers to address some key screening barriers, enabling clinics to opportunistically fit in HPV self-sampling in the clinical encounter, and providing an alternative modality for patients.

Study Aims:

  1. Use focus groups and semi-structured interviews to assess the patient-, provider-, clinic- and system-level factors that may influence Somali women’s uptake of HPV self-sampling.
  2. Implement an HPV self-sampling intervention for Somali women in three primary care clinics and compare changes in women’s screening uptake pre and post intervention with M-Health Fairview control clinics followed over the same time period.
  3. Conduct semi-structured interviews to assess the barriers and facilitators to implementation of HPV self-sampling in primary care for Somali women, and use an implementation science approach to develop a model of implementation.


  • The study will be conducted in over 4 ½ years, from June 2021 – December 2025

Partners Involved:

  • M Health Fairview Clinic - Smiley's, Minneapolis, MN
  • People’s Center Clinics & Services, Minneapolis, MN
  • Community-University Health Care Clinic, Minneapolis, MN 

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Project Team

Multiple Principal Investigators


Research Staff 

  • Christina Bliss Barsness | University of MN | Project Manager

  • Kristi Fordyce | University of MN | Research Facilitator

  • John Lin | University of Washington | Data Manager


  • Jay Desai, PhD, MPH | MN Department of Health 

  • Wali Dirie | Islamic Civic Society of America (ICSA) 

  • Anisa Ibrahim, MD | Washington State Somali Health Board & Harborview Pediatric Clinic Seattle 

  • Imam Sharif Mohamed | Dar al-Hijra Islamic Center