Going for a Smear: too Much Information?

  • M. Kotzur


In a review of 50 systematic reviews we found that information levels have been considered frequently as predictors of screening uptake. The evidence from the literature suggests that increasing information offers limited benefits to Pap test attendance. In addition, thematic analysis of data from 4 semi-structured focus groups (N = 15) indicates that women attending for Pap tests, though feeling informed, objectively lack knowledge about cervical screening. Cross-sectional findings from a survey of 256 women corroborate this conclusion: information levels correlate positively with intention, but failed to predict intention in multiple regression or attendance (logistic regression). How much information is necessary? This presentation discusses the difference between being informed and feeling informed. Successful intervention may need to focus on practical information to create a sense of mastery. Ethical approval was obtained before data collection.
Poster presentations