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Prev Med Rep. 2015;2:436-439.

Communication practices about HPV testing among providers in Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Author information

1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch, Atlanta, GA, USA.
2
Battelle, Health & Analytics, Seattle, WA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Little is known about the information providers share with patients when ordering a co-test, or combined human papillomavirus (HPV) and Papanicolaou (Pap) test, for cervical cancer screening. We assessed provider perceptions of such communication practices with female patients aged 30-60 years.

METHODS:

We analyzed data from 98 providers in 15 Federally Qualified Health Center clinics across Illinois (2009-2010).

RESULTS:

About 70% of the providers reported that when ordering a co-test, they would usually or always communicate information about the HPV test to their patients, explain the test detects a sexually transmitted infection, and discuss how the test results may determine their next screening interval. Most (>85%) reported that they were comfortable discussing co-test results. Compared with concordant positive results (HPV positive/Pap positive), providers were more likely to perceive that discordant results (HPV positive/Pap negative) would be too complex for patients to understand (25% vs. 15%, p = 0.006), and make patients feel less assured that they were getting the best standard of care (67% vs. 88%, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

As HPV testing plays a more prominent role in cervical cancer screening, more attention should be given to communications between providers and patients about the benefits and harms of different screening options.

KEYWORDS:

Cervical cancer screening; Co-test; Communication practices; Human papillomavirus

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