BRIEF REPORT: Housestaff adherence to cervical cancer screening recommendations

Joseph S. Ross, Beverly A. Forsyth, Julie R. Rosenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Postgraduate training involves intensive clinical education characterized by long work hours with minimal flexibility. Time demands may be a barrier to obtaining preventive care for housestaff during postgraduate training. OBJECTIVE: Assess adherence to United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cervical cancer screening recommendations. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. PARTICIPANTS: Convenience sample of female housestaff at 1 university hospital. MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcomes included (1) adherence to USPSTF recommendations, (2) perception of adherence to recommendations, and (3) barriers to obtaining preventive care. RESULTS: Surveys were completed by 204 housestaff. Overall, 81% of housestaff were adherent to USPSTF screening recommendations. Housestaff requiring screening in the past year were less likely to be adherent when compared with housestaff requiring screening in the past 3 years. Overall, 84% accurately perceived their screening behavior as adherent or nonadherent (κ=0.58). Of the 43% who identified a barrier to obtaining preventive care, not having time to schedule or keep appointments was reported most frequently (n=72). CONCLUSIONS: Housestaff accurately perceived their need for cervical cancer screening and were generally adherent to USPSTF recommendations, even though lack of time during postgraduate training was frequently reported as a barrier to obtaining preventive care. However, we found lower adherence among a small subgroup of housestaff at a slightly greater risk for cervical disease and most likely to benefit from screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-70
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Cervix neoplasms
  • Diagnosis
  • Internship and residency
  • Patient compliance
  • Prevention and control


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