An assessment of gynecological cytology screening practices among health care providers nationwide

May Darwish-Yassine, Ann D. Garvin, Carolyn M. Johnston, Lauren Zoschnick, Amy Conners, Shannon Laing, Christopher Wojcik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Context. - The Michigan Public Health Institute and the Michigan Cancer Consortium's Cervical Cancer Committee conducted a national survey of health care providers, thanks to funding from the Centers for Disease Control Cooperative Agreement 5U47CI000743-02. Papanicolaou test screening practices were examined, emphasizing the relationship between clinical and laboratory practices. This survey found differing screening practices among providers of women's health care. Objectives. - To collect information from family medicine practitioners, women's nurse practitioners, obstetricians and gynecologists, and certified nurse-midwives on Papanicolaou and human papillomavirus testing; to discuss how those practices align with current cytology screening and follow-up recommendations from professional organizations (US Preventive Services Task Force, American Cancer Society, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American Society for Colposcopy, and Cervical Pathology); and ultimately, to make recommendations aimed at standardizing practice performance. Design. - This survey was conducted in part to examine clinicians' practices and their perceptions of laboratory performance, to evaluate items that are known to enhance quality of care, and to examine factors that may prohibit universal implementation of best standards of care. The survey used a self-administered questionnaire, distributed to 9366 clinicians, with 1601 (17.1%) completed surveys. Results. - This assessment shows a clear lack of consensus among practitioners in performing Papanicolaou testing. It demonstrates how differently patients are tested, based on the providers' screening practices, and demonstrates specific cervical cancer screening practice disparities between and among the 4 provider groups, both in Papanicolaou testing and in the use of human papillomavirus testing. Conclusion. - A unified mandate for screening is needed to standardize screening practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-655
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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