Errors in reporting cervical screening among public health clinic patients

J Clin Epidemiol. 1991;44(4-5):403-8. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(91)90078-n.


This study examines women's knowledge of whether or not they had a cervical smear as part of their examination in a public health clinic for sexually transmitted diseases. Usable interviews were completed with a cluster sample of 318 women. Approximately 56% of the women were not able to correctly report if they had a cervical smear; and 90% of the erroneous responses consisted of reporting a cervical smear when none actually was done. Young women and single women were more likely to report incorrectly. Overall, the results suggest considerable error in overreporting cervical screening in this population.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Age Factors
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Educational Status
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Marriage
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Vaginal Smears*