Too Much of a Good Thing? Physician Practices and Patient Willingness for Less Frequent Pap Test Screening Intervals
ABSTRACT Recent guidelines recommend longer Pap test intervals. However, physicians and patients may not be adopting these recommendations.
Identify (1) physician and practice characteristics associated with recommending a less frequent interval, and (2) characteristics associated with women's willingness to adhere to a 3-year interval.
We used 2 national surveys: (1) a 2006/2007 National Survey of Primary Care Physicians for physician cervical cancer screening practices (N = 1114), and (2) the 2005 Health Information Trends Survey for women's acceptance of longer Pap intervals (N = 2206). MEASURES AND METHODS: Physician recommendation regarding Pap intervals was measured using a clinical vignette involving a 35-year-old with no new sexual partners and 3 consecutive negative Pap tests; associations with independent variables were evaluated with logistic regression. In parallel models, we evaluated women's willingness to follow a 3-year Pap test interval.
A minority of physicians (32%) have adopted-but more than half of women are willing to adopt-3-year Pap test intervals. In adjusted models, physician factors associated with less frequent screening were: serving a higher proportion of Medicaid patients, white, non-Hispanic race, fewer years since medical school graduation, and US Preventive Services Task Force being very influential in physician clinical practice. Women were more willing to follow a 3-year interval if they were older, but less willing if they had personal or family experiences with cancer or followed an annual Pap test schedule.
Many women are accepting of a 3-year interval for Pap tests, although most primary care physicians continue to recommend shorter intervals.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Jasmin A Tiro, Jul 23, 2014
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ABSTRACT: To explore attitudes toward new cervical cancer screening options and understand factors associated with those beliefs among women in routine gynecologic care. We used an interviewer-administered survey of 551 women aged 36-62 years enrolled in the HPV in Perimenopause Study. Poisson regression with robust error variance was used to estimate prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to compare women's preferences for cervical cancer screening methods and frequency. A majority of women (55.6%, 95% CI 51.4-59.8%) were aware that screening recommendations had changed, yet 74.1% (95% CI 70.3-77.7%) still believed women should be screened annually. If recommended by their doctor, 68.4% (95% CI 64.4-72.2%) were willing to extend screening to every 3 years, but only 25.2% (95% CI 21.9-29.2%) would extend screening to 5 years. Most women (60.7%, 95% CI 56.5-65.7%) expressed a strong preference for Pap testing, and 41.4% (95% CI 37.4-45.6%) expressed at least moderate concern over having a human papillomavirus (HPV) test without a Pap test. A desire for more frequent care, higher degree of worry and perceived risk, and abnormal screening history were all associated with reduced willingness to accept HPV testing and longer screening intervals. A majority of routinely screened women indicated a willingness to adopt a cervical cancer screening strategy of cytology alone or Pap-HPV cotesting every 3 years if recommended by their physician. However, they remain concerned about HPV testing and extension of screening intervals to once every 5 years. Our results suggest continued reticence to accepting newer HPV-based screening algorithms among routinely screened women older than age 35 years. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: III.Obstetrics and Gynecology 01/2015; DOI:10.1097/AOG.0000000000000638 · 4.37 Impact Factor