Many women ‘unaware’ of cervical screening programme
Screening programmes need varied methods of publicity to improve uptake, say researchers.
More than a quarter of women who have not had a smear test may not know about the cervical screening programme, according to a study.
The research, by Cancer Research UK-funded scientists at University College London, used survey responses from more than 3,100 women who were eligible for screening, of whom 793 had not taken the test.
About half (51%) of those who had not had the test told the survey they intended to go in the future but were currently overdue. But, 28% reported that they were unaware of the screening programme.
Of the non-participants, 15% had decided not to attend and this was more likely among women aged between 55 and 64.
Study leader Jo Waller said: ‘Campaigns using TV, radio, social media or face-to-face visits may be better ways of communicating with women about screening than relying on letters in the post, which is the current method.’
Marlow L et al (2017) Understanding the heterogeneity of cervical screening non-participants: data from a national sample of UK women, European Journal of Cancer. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2017.04.017