Effectiveness of screening for cervical cancer in an inpatient hospital setting

Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Feb;103(2):310-6. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000109209.93819.d1.


Objective: To estimate the effectiveness of an inpatient, hospital-based cervical cancer screening program at a single institution.

Methods: Between January 1999 and December 2002, 1,117 women admitted to the Johns Hopkins Hospital underwent Papanicolaou (Pap) test screening during their hospital stay. In that time period, 111,933 women were screened at all of the combined Hopkins outpatient clinics. We compared rates of abnormal Pap tests in these cohorts (retrospective cohort study). Our main outcome measure was the prevalence of abnormal Pap tests among the screening population by age group, ethnicity, and insurance status compared between our outpatient and inpatient populations.

Results: The prevalence of abnormal Pap tests in the inpatient cohort was twice as high as that in the outpatient setting (15.5% versus 7%). The prevalence of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), the immediate precursor lesion to cervical cancer, was nearly 5-fold higher in the inpatient cohort compared with the outpatient cohort (3% versus 0.7%). In multivariable models, younger women had greater risk for all types of abnormal Pap tests, and black women had greater risk for HSIL. Previous abnormal Pap and human immunodeficiency virus-positive status were associated with all abnormal tests and with HSIL results.

Conclusions: A hospital-based, inpatient Pap test program is an efficient strategy for targeting limited screening funds toward women at high risk of invasive cervical cancer.

Level of evidence: II-2

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Inpatients*
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Vaginal Smears