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Prevalence and risk factors for lifetime exposure to Pap smear abnormalities in the Australian community

Posner, T. Natasha, Boyle, Frances M. , Purdie, David M. , Dunne, Michael P., & Najman, Jackob M. (2006) Prevalence and risk factors for lifetime exposure to Pap smear abnormalities in the Australian community. Sexual Health, 3(4), pp. 274-279.

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Abstract

Background: This study examined the prevalence, correlates and consequences of abnormal Pap smears in a population-based survey of sexuality and health in the Australian community. Methods: Cross-sectional telephone survey of 908 women aged 18–59 years randomly selected from the Commonwealth electoral roll. Results: Most women (91%) reported having had at least one Pap smear test, a figure directly comparable with national estimates. Being single (prevalence ratio (PR) 4.61; 95% CI 2.09–10.17) and not having had sexual intercourse (PR 5.31, 95% CI 3.11–9.07) were strong predictors of never having been tested. One in four women (26%) who reported being screened also reported having had an abnormal Pap smear result, of whom 66% said they had further testing and 52% some form of treatment. A minority (19%) reported negative effects of treatment on their sex lives. Having been diagnosed with human papillomavirus (HPV) (PR 2.87, 95% CI 1.84–4.48), and to a lesser degree, having had a greater number of male sexual partners (PR 1.38, 95% CI 1.01–1.89), and experiencing sexual problems in the last year (PR 0.99, 95% CI 0.99–1.88) were independently associated with reporting of abnormal Pap smear results. Conclusions: Approximately one in four women self report lifetime exposure to Pap smear abnormalities. It is important that women are well prepared for this common experience. A causal association between multiple sexual partners and risk of acquiring HPV infection is supported by these data.

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ID Code: 9993
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: abnormal results, cervical screening, HPV, population, based survey
DOI: 10.1071/SH05044
ISSN: 1448-5028
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 CSIRO Publishing
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:24

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