Objective: To evaluate whether timely adherence rates differ by race among women with abnormal Pap tests participating in a cost-free or reduced-cost program.
Methods: Eligible subjects included women aged 47-64 years who received a referral for follow-up care after an abnormal Pap test from 1999 to 2002 in South Carolina (n=330). Adherence was measured as days to receipt of follow-up care after an abnormal Pap test. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to estimate risk factors associated with time to adherence within 60 and 365 days by race.
Results: African-American and non-Hispanic white women had similar adherence to follow-up. Among white women, those with high-grade lesions were less likely to adhere in a timely manner relative to those with low-grade lesions (hazard ratio 0.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.4-1.0). For African-American women, rural residence (hazard ratio: 0.5, 95% CI 0.2-0.9) and history of abnormal Pap tests (hazard ratio 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.0) were associated with decreased adherence, whereas less education (hazard ratio 2.3, 95% CI 1.3-3.9) was associated with increased adherence.
Conclusion: Adherence rates do not differ by race. However, risk factors for adherence within race are variable. Interventions tailored to the differential needs of racial and ethnic groups may prove effective toward increasing timely adherence rates.
Level of evidence: II.