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513 Barriers to cervical screening: the perspective of patients at a London-based GP
  1. Pooja Goel
  1. The Lyndhurst Surgery, London, UK


Introduction/Background Cervical cancer claims lives of 850 people in the UK (1). To combat cervical screening is offered saving estimated 2,000 lives per year (2). However, the current cervical screening coverage rate is 72.2%(3).To address this, a survey among patients within our practise in attempts to eludicate beliefs and barriers to screening,

Methodology Women aged 25–49 at a London-based GP who had not booked cervical screening despite three text reminders. 182 patients were called. Only 38 patients (20.9%) were contactable and provided a definite response. Group 1, who then declined the screening, and Group 2, who booked screening following the call. Group 1 were given questionnaire 1 to explore the reasons for declining and any previous screening experiences. Group 2 were given questionnaire 2 to understand why they booked via the call.

Results Out of 182 participants, 54 answered. Results from questionnaire 1 indicated the main barrier to screening was a previous bad experience. those who’ve never had a screening before, reasons included not understanding the purpose of the screening and hearing about bad experiences. 90% of participants also expressed a preference for screening in the form of home urine or vaginal swabs. Results from questionnaire 2 indicated patients preferred the active aspect of a phone call when booking an appointment, rather than the passive text messages which they were more likely to put off or ignore.

Conclusion Key barrier to screening within our patient cohort was many of them were uncontactable. Letters may serve as a viable solution to address this. For those who have attended screening in the past and subsequently declined, home screening could significantly improve uptake. The approach is relevant as many cited emotional factors including previous poor experience as dissuading uptake. Prioritise education initially, as many did not understand reasons for screening.

Ultimately home testing has the potential to eradicate both emotional and practical barriers to cervical screening

Disclosures Nil disclosures.

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