Analysis of Patterns of Patient Compliance After an Abnormal Pap Smear Result: The Influence of Demographic Characteristics on Patient Compliance

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This study aimed to determine population characteristics that correlate to suboptimal follow-up after an abnormal cervical cytology result.

Materials and Methods

Nonpregnant women, ages 21 to 65 years, with newly diagnosed abnormal cervical cytology result between January 2009 and January 2012 at an urban clinic were eligible for inclusion in this retrospective chart review. Cervical cytology data and demographic characteristics such as age, ethnicity, employment, marital and smoking status, health insurance and number of pregnancies were abstracted from electronic medical record. A log-linear model was used to determine which factors influenced patient compliance.


Of the total of 206 women, 78 (37.9%) had optimal follow-up and 128 (62.1%) had suboptimal follow-up. The 3 variables that were statistically significant in influencing patient follow-up after adjusted analyses included severity of cytology result (p = .0013), ethnicity (p = .02), and employment status (p = .0159). The risk ratio for optimal follow-up for those with severe cytology result was 1.81; for the non-whites, 1.77; and for the employed, 1.53.


Ethnicity, severity of cervical cytology result, and employment status play an important role in patient follow-up after an abnormal cervical cytology result. Detecting trends in our patient population that influence adherence to follow-up will help health care providers formulate strategies that target this problem.

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