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Int J Qual Health Care. 1995 Mar;7(1):11-6.

Cellular composition of cervical smears taken by general practitioners.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The quality of the cervical smears taken by general practitioners, and also by some practice assistants, of the Dutch Screening Programme in the region of Nijmegen was evaluated. Of 18,398 preventive cervical smears taken by GPs in this region, 437 (2%) were diagnosed as "class" 0 and 2907 (16%) smears did not contain endocervical cells (EC-). The quality of the smears per general practitioner varied enormously. The percentage of smears without endocervical cells taken by six practice assistants was 18. During the screening period the percentage of smears without endocervical cells taken by GPs decreased from 19 (1989) to 14 (1992). In February 1990 the six practice assistants followed a theoretical and practical course on cervical smear-taking. Remarkable was the decrease in the percentage of smears without an endocervical component from 25% in 1990 to 13% in 1991. The quality of smears taken by GPs would improve if the general practitioner had more experience in smear-taking. We recommend to offer GPs the opportunity to take practical training courses in smear-taking, just as the practice assistants in this project.

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