Background: Studies have shown that accuracy of self-reported screening for cervical cancer is not optimal. In order to improve women's knowledge of their screening status and in broader terms improve communication between patient and doctor the risk groups who require special attention with regard to information have to be identified. The purpose of this study was to identify lifestyle and socio-demographic determinants for denying screening when in fact it had been performed.
Methods: A case-control study among 7,763 women aged 20-29 years from Copenhagen. Data were obtained by means of a personal interview using a standardized questionnaire and from a computerized pathology registry. Determinants for not knowing own screening status were identified using multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results: In all, 13% of the women could not state correctly that they had been screened for cervical cancer. The major determinant was younger age (adjusted odds ratio: 5.8, for women aged 20-22 years compared with women aged 26-29 years). Other determinants included few Pap smears, increasing years since last Pap smear, no previous abnormal Pap smear, lower education, never having used oral contraceptives, and current smoking.
Conclusions: Knowledge about own screening status is not optimal in Denmark. Our study shows that doctors have to be extra careful with information to the youngest women and to certain other groups.