Reasons for non-attendance for computer-managed cervical screening: pilot interviews.
AffiliationDepartment of Epidemiology and Social Oncology, Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute, Withington, Manchester, England.
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AbstractA pilot interview study looked at reasons why women did not attend a clinic following an invitation for a cervical smear test offered via a computer-managed scheme. Three broad issues were identified. First, the inaccuracy of the computer database (the FPC register) meant some women were inaccessible because they no longer lived at the address recorded. Other women were ineligible or unsuitable within the criteria of the scheme but had been sent invitations inappropriately because their screening records were incomplete or out of date. Second, aspects of service organisation and provision led to misclassification of some attenders as non-attenders and to various failures of communication such as non-receipt of the invitation or health education leaflet or unsuccessful attempts to rearrange appointments. In addition, the appointment or venue offered could be unsatisfactory. The third issue concerned the characteristics of the women which sometimes interacted with practical problems connected with service provision. Other women believed the test to be inappropriate for themselves while some were deterred by the prospect of the test itself. In general, embarrassment was pervasive and reflected in preferences for different types of service provision. Women who had neither attended nor been otherwise tested were particularly likely to express feelings of fear and fatalism. General attitudes to the test were favourable but this was not always applied personally. A typology of reasons for non-attendance for computer-managed cervical screening is presented.
CitationReasons for non-attendance for computer-managed cervical screening: pilot interviews. 1988, 27 (6):651-60 Soc Sci Med
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
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