A recent study carried out by CervicalCheck – The National Cervical Screening Programme to evaluate levels of satisfaction among women participating in the programme, has found a high level of satisfaction among women overall.1 Almost all (98.5%) would return to CervicalCheck if invited and over 99 per cent would recommend the service to family or a friend.
A questionnaire was sent to 5,000 randomly selected attenders with a normal smear test (3,500 aged 25-44, 1,500 aged 45-60) reflecting the total population of screened women.
In the first round of CervicalCheck screening, it was observed that screening coverage was significantly higher in women under 45 years. Younger women were better informed regarding when to return for their routine smear test.
The level of understanding regarding optimal frequency of screening is poor, particularly among older women. The website does not appear to be used greatly by older women to access information, with just 9.8 per cent of those needing additional information looking at the CervicalCheck website. Knowledge of when to return for screening was associated with a willingness to return.
While this study does not address reasons for nonattendance specifically, it does highlight different routes for informing older and younger women about CervicalCheck and may inform initiatives aimed at improving coverage among older women. The GP and practice nurse are of particular importance in informing older women about CervicalCheck and encouraging attendance. Use of the internet by the current cohort of older women attending CervicalCheck for information about CervicalCheck or cervical screening is limited.
1 Fitzpatrick P, O'Neill S, Mooney T, Duignan A, Flannelly G. Age related influence on screening coverage and satisfaction. with CervicalCheck. Ir Med J. 2014 Jul-Aug; 107(7): 216-7.