When access to primary care is limited, low-income women of all races and ethnicities seek care in public hospital emergency departments (EDs) in which preventive services are often unavailable. This project implemented and evaluated a cervical screening program in an inner-city ED. Clinicians were asked to offer Pap smears to women undergoing diagnostic pelvic examinations. Women with abnormal results were randomized to follow-up in one of two settings. Women with normal results received an intervention promoting annual rescreening. In 12 months, 1,523 Pap smears were performed on 1,442 women; 58% were African American; 21%, Hispanic; and 7%, Asian. Among these women, more than 22 languages were spoken, and 26% did not recall having a prior Pap smear. Preliminary findings suggest that cervical cancer screening can be incorporated into routine ED care, creating an important alternative pathway to early detection for a high-risk population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health