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Ginecol Obstet Mex. 2005 Dec;73(12):637-47.

[Overuse of colposcopy service in Mexico].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Medicina Preventiva, Clínica de Especialidades de la Mujer, SEDENA.



Cervicouterine cancer is one of the main public health problems in Mexico. Several problems related to the low effectiveness of the Program of Opportune Detection of Cervicouterine Cancer have been identified, among them: low cover of the disease detection and absence of quality control in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of it. In Mexico the quality control problem in cytology has been taken with success, but the opposite occurs with colposcopy practice. For that reason this service is overused by patients with low risk cancer and is not accessible for the high risk population.


To evaluate the association between cervicouterine cancer knowledge and satisfaction with the service regarding the use and intention of adherence to it for the follow-up and treatment, as well as analyze the resources used for this attention.


A transversal study was done from May to December, 2002. It included all the patients who went to the Colposcopy Service in three hospitals. 1,606 patients were interviewed, from them 443 cases were first-time visits and 1,163 were subsequent ones.


In a multivariate model we observed that the real utility knowledge of cervicovaginal cytology increases the probability that women come back to the Colposcopy Service (OR 2.0, Cl 95%: 1.57, 2.54). Patients who know their diagnosis when it is dysplasia or cancer are more likely to become attached to their follow-up than those who do not know it. 91% of the users (1,463) had two or more cervicovaginal cytolgies done, and 49% (787) had eight or more. Patients who know the purpose and utility of the biopsy had a 4.4 fold probability of become subsequent than those that do not know such information (Cl 95%: 1.72 to 11.35).


Nowadays colposcopy clinics treat 70% of the patients who are subsequent and that have normal reports of cytology. This shows us an overuse of the service, with the consequent service, monetary and opportunity costs for women. More studies should be done to reformulate the rule that controls the treatment of these patients, and incorporate follow-up guidelines according to the natural history of the disease in Mexican women.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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