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Title: How much does a reminder letter increase cervical screening among under-screened women in NSW?
Authors: Morrell S; Taylor R; Zeckendorf S; Niciak A; Wain G; Ross J
Categories: Prevention - Interventions to Prevent Cancer: Personal Behaviours (Non-Dietary) that Affect Cancer Risk
Keywords: analysis; Women; cervical; methods; New South Wales; Public Health; screening; survival; Survival Analysis; Wales
Year: 2005
Journal Title: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume: 29
Issue: 1
Page number start: 78
Page number end: 84
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a direct mail-out campaign to increase Pap screening rates in women who have not had a test in 48 months. METHODS: Ninety thousand under-screened women were randomised to be mailed a 48-month reminder letter to have a Pap test (n=60,000), or not to be mailed a letter (n=30,000). Differences in Pap test rates were assessed by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, by chi2 tests of significance between Pap test rates in letter versus no-letter groups, and by proportional hazards regression modelling of predictors of a Pap test with letter versus no-letter as the main study variable. T-tests were conducted on mean time to Pap test to assess whether time to Pap test was significantly different between the intervention and control groups. RESULTS: After 90 days following each mail-out, Pap test rates in the letter group were significantly higher than in the non-letter group, by approximately two percentage points. After controlling for potential confounders, the hazard ratio of a Pap test within 90 days of a mail-out in the letter group was 1.5 compared with 1.0 in the no-letter group. Hazard ratios of having a Pap test within 90 days decreased significantly with time since last Pap test (p<0.0001); were significantly higher than 1.0 for most non-metropolitan areas of NSW compared with metropolitan areas; and increased significantly with age (p<0.0001). Pap test hazard ratios were not associated with socio-economic status of area of residence, but the hazard ratio was significantly higher than 1.0 if the reminder letter was sent after the Christmas/New Year break. No significant differences in mean time to Pap test were found between the letter and no-letter groups. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Being sent a reminder letter is associated with higher Pap testing rates in under-screened women
Programme: Health Services Research
Division: Cancer Research Division
Appears in Collections:Research Articles

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