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 RAND.org on January 01, 2008

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

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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?

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