Department of Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, ON; Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : Proper follow-up of high-grade (HG) Pap tests is critical to the prevention of cervical cancer. This study evaluated the impact of a patient-directed cytology results correspondence program on follow-up of HG Pap tests among at-risk women aged 21 to 69 in Ontario. METHODS : A cohort study with a historical control was used to investigate the impact of a result letter on adherence to follow-up after an HG Pap test. Analyses were conducted on an intention-to-treat basis. The intervention group was defined as women with an HG Pap test in 2014-2016, and the control group included women with an HG Pap test in 2010-2012. Follow-up was defined as a colposcopy or related treatments within 6 months of an HG Pap test. Factors that could influence adherence to follow-up were included as covariates in a multivariable logistic regression model (Canadian Task Force Classification II-2). RESULTS : The study population comprised 7088 women in the intervention group and 6887 women in the non-intervention group. The follow-up rate in the intervention group was 86.2% compared with 81.0% in the non-intervention group. Controlling for covariates, women in the intervention group were more likely to have a follow-up (adjusted odds ratio 1.5; 95% confidence interval 1.3-1.6). Other significant factors included being registered to a family physician and the physician's gender. CONCLUSIONS : A patient-directed correspondence program that provides Pap test results directly to the woman may reduce loss to follow-up for an HG abnormality, with an increased likelihood that these women will seek and complete a colposcopy and related treatment.