The accuracy of Pap smear utilization self-report: a methodological consideration in cervical screening research

Health Serv Res. 1991 Apr;26(1):97-107.


One method used to determine utilization rates of cervical screening is women's self-report. Few studies have assessed the accuracy of this measure--none has been conducted in Australia--although there are a number of reasons for suspecting its validity. This study examined and quantified the accuracy of self-report of Pap smear use among a randomly selected sample of women from an Australian community. Accuracy of Pap smear utilization self-report within a three-year period was assessed by comparison with pathology records. Results indicated that almost half of the women who have not had Pap smears within three years will be missed by a self-report measure of utilization. Some implications for the measurement and use of self-report data are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Data Collection / standards*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • New South Wales
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Random Allocation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data*