Improving the follow-up of patients with abnormal Papanicolaou smear results.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A review of the literature on adherence with recommended follow-up after an abnormal screening Papanicolaou smear result reveals that many women do not receive adequate follow-up. Primary care providers can influence the number of women who undergo timely colposcopy or a subsequent Papanicolaou smear by addressing common barriers to follow-up. Physicians should anticipate fears commonly experienced by women when they learn of abnormal Papanicolaou smear results, including fear of cancer, fear of pain during colposcopy, and fear of loss of sexual or reproductive function. An awareness that certain populations are at especially high risk of inadequate follow-up, including black and Hispanic women, women with less than a high school education, and women of low socioeconomic status, can help physicians target their efforts. Practical strategies for improving follow-up include speaking directly with the patient about results, emphasizing the precancerous nature of most lesions, actively preparing the patient for colposcopy by describing the procedure and its complications, and addressing fears about the common treatment options for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Office-based reminder systems and educational materials may also be used as adjuncts to personal contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-577
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Family Medicine
Volume6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1997

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Papanicolaou Test
Fear
Colposcopy
Reminder Systems
Physicians
Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia
Hispanic Americans
Social Class
Primary Health Care
Education
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Improving the follow-up of patients with abnormal Papanicolaou smear results. / McKee, Melissa D.

In: Archives of Family Medicine, Vol. 6, No. 6, 11.1997, p. 574-577.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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