Adherence to the 2012 national cervical cancer screening guidelines: A pilot study

Deanna G.K. Teoh, Amity E. Marriott, Rachel Isaksson Vogel, Ryan T. Marriott, Charles W. Lais, Levi S. Downs, Shalini L. Kulasingam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective The goal of this pilot study was to evaluate adherence to the 2012 cervical cancer screening guidelines among health care providers in a large health maintenance organization.

Study Design A cross-sectional survey evaluating knowledge, reported practices, and views of the 2012 cervical cancer screening guidelines was distributed to 325 health care providers within HealthPartners. The survey was divided into 3 sections: (1) provider demographics; (2) knowledge of the 2012 age-specific cancer screening guidelines; and (3) provider practice. Comparisons based on appropriate knowledge and practice of the guidelines were made using Fisher exact tests.

Results The response rate was 42%. Of 124 respondents, 15 (12.1%) reported they were not aware of the 2012 guideline changes. Only 7 (5.7%) respondents answered all the knowledge questions correctly. A majority of respondents reported correct screening practices in the 21-29 year patient age group (65.8%) and in the >65 year patient age group (74.3%). Correct screening intervals in the 30-65 year patient age group varied by modality, with 89.3% correctly screening every 3 years with Pap smear alone, but only 57.4% correctly screening every 5 years with Pap smear + human papillomavirus cotesting. The most frequently cited reasons for not adhering were lack of knowledge of the guidelines and patient demand for a different screening interval.

Conclusion Adherence to the 2012 cervical cancer screening guidelines is poor due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of the guidelines. Efforts should focus on improved provider and patient education, and methods that facilitate adherence to the guidelines such as electronic health record order sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62.e1-62.e9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • cervical cancer screening
  • guideline adherence
  • provider survey


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