Intervention to Improve Follow-up of Abnormal Pap Test

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Over 90 percent of deaths due to cervical cancer could be prevented with appropriate screening and treatment of precursor lesions. However, 20 percent to 70 percent of women in the United States who are told that their Papanicolaou (Pap) test was abnormal do not adhere to recommendations for follow-up care. This is a problem especially among minorities and women of lower socioeconomic status. The proposed study will address this problem by investigating an intervention based in the unified theory of behavior to improve follow-up rates after notification of an abnormal Pap test. A total of 600 women of white, black, or Hispanic race/ethnicity between 18 and 55 years of age who experience an abnormal Pap test will be randomized to one of three groups: (1) culturally targeted belief + knowledge + importance (intervention), (2) non-targeted belief + knowledge + importance (active control), or (3) standard care (passive control). All groups will be notified by telephone of their abnormal results and provided instructions for follow-up (standard care). Women randomized to the intervention will receive a semi-structured message during the phone call addressing core determinants of behavior identified in our previous work. Specifically, the message will address culturally targeted beliefs about the consequences of follow-up that were isolated for each racial/ethnic group (targeted beliefs). The message also will include beliefs delivered to the active control group so that only the presentation of targeted beliefs differs between these groups. In addition, the message will provide detailed information regarding the procedures and timeline associated with follow-up care. Finally, the importance of follow-up, particularly for "low-grade" abnormalities, will be emphasized. Women assigned to the active control group will receive the same knowledge and importance message; however, the belief component will contain only those beliefs previously identified across race/ethnicity (non-targeted). Behavioral and psychological outcomes including adherence to initial follow-up, anxiety, and patient satisfaction will be evaluated between groups. In addition, delay in care and completeness of care will be assessed over an 18-month interval. Finally, we will examine grade of Pap abnormality (low versus high) as an effect modifier. The intervention strategy is generalizable and may ultimately decrease the number of low income and minority women who develop invasive cervical cancer.
Effective start/end date9/1/055/31/11


  • National Institutes of Health: $264,072.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $260,618.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $260,619.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $260,619.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $262,096.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $268,403.00


  • Medicine(all)


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