Patient knowledge and attitudes toward cervical cancer screening after the 2012 screening guidelines

Jayanti M. Clay, Joanne Daggy, Sunetris Fluellen, Brownsne Tucker Edmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To assess women's attitudes and preferences related to recent changes in cervical cancer screening guidelines. Methods: We distributed 380 surveys in three University based and Community clinics. Study participants anonymously completed surveys, which included questions related to demographics, cervical cancer, screening practices, risk perception and attitudes towards changing practices. Results: 315 women agreed to participate (83%). 60% (185/310) of participants had some college education or higher and 12% (36/305) worked in the medical field. On average, participants answered 4.1 (SD = 1.3) of the 8 knowledge questions correctly. Knowledge scores significantly increased with education level (Kruskal-Wallis test p-value < 0.001). The majority (72%, n = 228) reported that they should be screened annually, and that screening should be initiated with the onset of sexual activity (63%, n = 197). Participants that were more knowledgeable of current screening practices were more comfortable extending screening intervals (Kruskal-Wallis test p < 0.001). Conclusion: Even among a relatively highly educated population of women, participants had limited knowledge of cervical cancer and current screening guidelines. Many participants reported discomfort with less frequent screening intervals. Practice implications: This study supports the need for improvement in cervical cancer prevention education especially with regards to the new screening guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Attitudes
  • Cervical cancer
  • Guidelines
  • Knowledge
  • Prevention
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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