Single-Visit Pap Test, Treatment Yields Good Results

Low-income women more likely to get treatment and return for follow-up

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Low-income women are more likely to get treatment and return for follow-up after an abnormal Pap test result if testing and treatment are combined into a single visit, according to a study in the Nov. 2 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Wendy R. Brewster, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues conducted a trial among 3,521 women at U.S. community health centers in predominantly underserved Latino areas. About half were given usual care and discharged after examination, while the other half remained at the clinic until the test results were returned. Those with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HGSIL), atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance (AGUS), or suspected cancer were treated immediately using large loop electrosurgical excision. Patients with other abnormal results were referred to abnormal cytology clinics.

The abnormality rate for the Pap tests was 4.1%, of which 1% showed high-grade lesions. In the single-visit group, 14 of 16 women (88%) diagnosed with HGSIL/AGUS had completed treatment within six months of their visit, while only 10 of 19 women (53%) in the usual care group had completed treatment. Follow-up Pap tests one year later were significantly more likely for the women in the single-visit group (63%) than those in the usual care group (21%).

"For cervical cancer screening, the single-visit program was feasible and the degree of acceptability was high in this underserved population," the authors conclude.

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