Pap Smear audit offers participants a retrospective assessment of their smear collection including detection of sexually transmitted infections and other conditions affecting the gynaecological region. Participants will receive statistically relevant feedback and evaluate, via systemic reviews, their own clinical performance against all participants of the audit and best practice guidelines. Quality of care will be improved by increasing participants awareness of patient participation in the National Cervical Screening Program and adequacy of specimens submitted for pathology tests.
Relevance to General Practice
Cancer of the cervix is a preventable and curable cancer if detected early. Research suggests that up to 90% of the most common form of cervical cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, can be prevented if women have a regular Pap smear every two years. (1)
Recent data indicates that only 57% of sexually active women aged between 20 and 69 are having a Pap Smear performed every 2 years. (1)
GPs play a vital role in encouraging women in the target age group to participate in the NCSP whether they are fully vaccinated or not. Regular Pap smears are still essential until the implementation of the RNCSP because the HPV vaccine does not prevent all cervical cancers. (2,3)
1. AIHW 2016. Cervical Screening in Australia 2013-2014: data report. Cancer series no. 97. Cat no. CAN 95. Canberra AIHW
2.AusDept Health - Immunise Australia Program.
3. Sexually Transmitted Disease Treatment Guidelines (2010). Cervical Cancer Screening for Women who Attend STD Clinics or Have a History of STDs. CDCP
- Identify factors and barriers affecting women's participation in regular cervical screening and undertake a thorough clinical history and vaccination status.
- Utilise best practice guidelines for collection of pap smear samples for pathology with reference to the current &renewed National Cervical Screening Program.
- Develop strategies for promoting participation in cervical screening including opportunistic and systematic cervical screening in medical settings.
- Monitor importance of follow-up protocols & processes, particularly unsatisfactory/abnormal reports, while observing right to exclude Pap smear from Registry.
- Utilise Cancer Council Australia, NHMRC Guidelines and professional standards to assist in clinical decision making.
Domains of General Practice
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensions
Curriculum Contextual Units