By Stephanie Stephens,
Health Behavior News Service
As many as half to two-thirds of women who’ve undergone hysterectomies or are older than 65 years in the United States report receiving Pap tests for cervical cancer.
This prevalence is surprising in light of the 2003 U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce guidelines recommending that women discontinue Pap testing if they have received a total hysterectomy without a history of cervical cancer and if they are over age 65 years with ongoing and recent normal Pap test results.
Performing these unnecessary tests can result in stress for the patient, increased costs, and inefficient use of both provider and patient time, concludes a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
“During this time of health care reform, we could probably use our resources more wisely,” said corresponding author Deanna Kepka, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor at the University of Utah’s College of Nursing and Huntsman Cancer Institute. Continue reading