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Acta Cytol. 1986 May-Jun;30(3):251-7.

The influence of sample takers on the cellular composition of cervical smears.


In a population-based cervical cancer screening program, the performances of five sample takers and their influence on the cellular composition of the smears and the numbers of epithelial abnormalities diagnosed were analyzed. As measured by the presence of endocervical columnar cells, there were remarkable variations in the quality of the smears between sample takers and between years of sampling. There was also a positive relationship between the presence of endocervical columnar cells in the smear and the number of epithelial abnormalities found. A lower quality of smear was reflected by a lower incidence of epithelial atypical changes found, both between sample takers and by a single sample taker over a period of time. These findings show that sample takers influence the cellular composition of smears and, therefore, the diagnostic outcome of smear screening. Their competence in executing their tasks must be frequently reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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