Cervicitis in adolescents: Do clinicians understand diagnosis and treatment?

Jennifer L. Woods, Sarabeth L. Bailey, Devon J. Hensel, Amy M. Scurlock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Cervicitis is widespread, but no studies have examined cervicitis in accordance with established guidelines for diagnosis and treatment. Study objectives were to describe adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of cervicitis within an adolescent population and to compare factors associated with adherence to guidelines in a primary care setting and the Emergency Department. Methods: Data were collected as part of a retrospective chart review of evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of STI in adolescent women in an outpatient setting. Participant charts were eligible for review if they were 12-21 years of age and were given an ICD-9 and chart diagnosis of cervicitis. Two primary outcome variables: meeting cervicitis guidelines and correct treatment among those meeting cervicitis guidelines (no/yes) were utilized; the study controlled for age, race, venue, past infection with chlamydia or gonorrhea. Results: Subjects (n = 365) were examined for the primary outcome variables and 75.1% (274/365) met at least one criterion for cervicitis. Of these, 166 (60.9%: 166/274) subjects were found to meet criteria for cervicitis alone, versus subjects meeting criteria for both cervicitis and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) (39.4%: 108/274). The majority, 89.3%, (326/365) were treated for both chlamydia and gonorrhea, but only 64.7% (211/326) were treated correctly for both infections. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that knowledge deficits exist in diagnosis and treatment of cervicitis in adolescent patients and in differentiating between cervicitis and PID. Educational tools, simulated patient exercises, and order sets may be warranted for quality improvement to allow for improved care of this at risk sexually active population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Adolescents
  • CDC
  • Cervicitis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cervicitis in adolescents: Do clinicians understand diagnosis and treatment?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this