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Increasing the perceived relevance of cervical screening in older women who do not plan to attend screening

Marlow, LAV; Ryan, M; Waller, J; (2019) Increasing the perceived relevance of cervical screening in older women who do not plan to attend screening. Sexually Transmitted Infections 10.1136/sextrans-2019-054120. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Uptake of cervical screening among women aged 50-64 years is declining. Not feeling at risk because of current sexual behaviour is a reason some older women give for not being screened. We hypothesised that explaining the long interval between acquiring human papillomavirus (HPV) and developing cervical cancer would increase the relevance of screening in older women. // METHODS: Women aged 50-64 years (n=597) who did not intend to go for screening were recruited through an online panel and randomised to one of three information conditions: cause only (basic information about HPV and cervical cancer), cause with basic timeline (also read a sentence describing the long interval between acquiring HPV and developing cervical cancer) and cause with explicit timeline (read the same as the timeline group alongside an explanation of what this means for older women). Perceived risk of cervical cancer, screening intention strength and understanding of HPV were assessed preinformation and postinformation exposure. // RESULTS: Information condition was significantly associated with risk perceptions and intention strength postintervention (F(2,593)=6.26, p=0.002 and F(2,593)=4.98, p=0.007 respectively). Women in the cause with explicit timeline condition were more likely to increase their risk perceptions and intention strength compared with cause only (24% vs 9% and 25% vs 13% for risk perceptions and intention, respectively). In the cause with explicit timeline group, women with 4-10 lifetime partners had higher odds of increasing their perceived risk and intention strength postintervention compared with those with 0-1 partners (OR=2.27, 95% CI 1.01 to 5.12 and OR=3.20, 95% CI 1.34 to 7.67, respectively). // CONCLUSIONS: Providing a clear explanation that decouples women's perceived cervical cancer risk from their current sexual behaviour has the potential to increase perceived risk of cervical cancer and intentions to be screened among older women. Providing women with a clear cognitive representation of the aetiology of cervical cancer may be one approach to increasing screening uptake.

Type: Article
Title: Increasing the perceived relevance of cervical screening in older women who do not plan to attend screening
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/sextrans-2019-054120
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2019-054120
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/.
Keywords: cervical screening, non-attenders, older, pap smear, risk perceptions, salience, timeline
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079865
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