Cover: Variations in Practice Guideline Adherence for Abnormal Cervical Cytology in a County Healthcare System

Variations in Practice Guideline Adherence for Abnormal Cervical Cytology in a County Healthcare System

Published In: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 23, no. 5, May 2008, p. 575-580

Posted on on January 01, 2008

by Rita Singhal, Lisa V. Rubenstein, Mingming Wang, Martin L. Lee, Anwar Raza, Christine H. Holschneider

BACKGROUND: Reduction in cervical cancer incidence and mortality is not only dependant on promoting cervical cancer screening but also on providing appropriate follow-up and treatment of abnormal cervical cytology. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to determine variations in guideline adherence for women requiring abnormal cervical cytology follow-up. SUBJECTS: Subjects of the study are women 18 years or older with an abnormal Pap test in 2000 within a large county healthcare system (n?=?8,571). MEASUREMENTS: Guideline adherence was determined by the presence or absence of the appropriate follow-up procedure within an acceptable time interval for each degree of cytological abnormality. Patients with no follow-up studies were deemed to be lost to follow-up. RESULTS: Of study subjects, 18.5% were lost to follow-up care. Of the remaining 6,987 women, 60.3% received optimal care, 9.4% received suboptimal care, and 30.3% received poor care. Follow-up rates were higher for patients with higher degree of cytological abnormality (OR, 1.29, 95% CI, 1.17-1.42), older patients (OR, 1.03, 95% CI, 1.02-1.030) and those receiving the index Pap test at a larger healthcare facility (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.01-1.27). Receiving optimal care was positively correlated with higher degree of cytological abnormality (p?

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.