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 increasecervical 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 two primary care clinics and compare changes in women’s screening uptake pre and post intervention with 27 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

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Project Team

Multiple Principal Investigators 


Research Staff 

  • Christina Bliss Barsness | University of MN | Project manager
  • Huda Farax | University of MN | Research facilitator
  • Kristi Fordyce | University of MN | Research assistant
  • 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