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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1650
Abrami R., Cattaneo A.
Background. To describe the determinants of missed or irregular Pap-test.
Methods. Design: cross-sectional descriptive study. Setting: Trieste province (urban) and San Daniele district (mostly rural). Subjects: 294 (89%) out of 332 (83%) women interviewed from a simple random sample of 400 women 25 to 64 years of age. Intervention: none. Data collection: planned telephone interview with a pre-tested questionnaire.
Results. 256 (87%) women had a Pap-test at least once in their life, 169 (57%) in the last two years. The 222 (76%) women with a Pap-test in the last five years know where and when, but not how often. The gynaecologist recommended the test in 63% of cases; only 23 women were informed by their general practitioner and only 8 decided the Pap-test based on this information. Fifty-three percent had the Pap-test always in the same health facility; the decision to change was related mainly with long waiting lists (18%) and distance (16%). In San Daniele district private health facilities were preferred to public ones more than in Trieste (48% vs 20%; p<0.0005). Among women with regular Pap- test, 36% had higher education vs 23% among women with missed or irregular test (p=0.05). The main reported reason for missed or irregular Pap test was inadequate information, followed by deficiencies in the quality of services.
Conclusions. The Pap-test rate was higher than expected. The small number of women with missed or irregular Pap-test (66/294; 22%) does not allow to draw firm conclusions about the reasons for non use, though these seem to be similar to those already reported in the literature, i.e. lack of adequate information. A regional programme, including standard methods of assessment of coverage, would lead to increased regular use of this screening.