Screening for Cervical Carcinoma in Developmentally Disabled Women in Residential Facilities

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Our aim was to describe the results of Papanicolaou (Pap) smears obtained during routine pelvic examinations on virginal developmentally disabled women and to compare the incidence rate of abnormal cervical cytology to the general population.

Materials and Methods

This study was descriptive and comparative. Subjects were a convenience sample of 230 developmentally disabled virginal women (mean age, 31 ± 9.6 years) who were living in a state-operated residential facility and had screening pelvic examinations and Pap smears. Cytological diagnoses were compared with a general population (n = 92, 151).


Overall rate of abnormal Pap smears was significantly lower than the age-adjusted rate in the general population (z = 2.88, p <.01). All subsequent cytology in the study population reverted to normal. No evidence of cervical neoplasia was seen in the study population.


Routine screening for cervical carcinoma is not indicated for this population of developmentally disabled women who have not had sexual inter-course.

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