What are Women Told about Pap Smears That Lack Endocervical Cells? Academic Article uri icon


  • Debate exists about the definition of what constitutes an adequate Pap smear and about the recommended rescreening interval for Pap smears lacking an endocervical component. This study aimed at determining whether women are currently informed about the endocervical status of their Pap smears and what rescreening recommendations are made to women whose smears lack endocervical cells.Consecutive Pap smears lacking an endocervical component were identified from pathology records. After obtaining consent from the referring doctor, 165 women were interviewed by telephone.Only 110 (67%) of 165 women received active notification of their Pap test result and only six (4%) were aware that their smear lacked endocervical cells. Thirteen (8%) had been advised to have a repeat smear within three months. Nearly half the women reported that they would like more information about their result.It seems that current Pap smear notification patterns for women in New South Wales could be improved. One third are not actively informed at all about their results, and few are given detailed information about their Pap test results. Methods of enhancing the level of information women are given about their medical and screening tests need to be improved.

publication date

  • June 1995