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Residents Create Proactive Education Campaign for Cervix Clinic Patients

Friday, October 26, 2018

Cervical cancer remains a major cause of death among women in the U.S. Fortunately, the rate of cervical cancer has decreased, largely due to screening via regular Papanicolaou (pap) smear testing. While pap smear testing is an effective screening mechanism, the real benefit comes from follow-up of abnormal results. Unfortunately, many patients miss these visits. In 2017, an estimated one-third of women did not present for their scheduled appointment in the Duke Cervix Clinic. Research supports education as a means to improve follow-up as women may not understand the importance of such testing or are afraid. To decrease the rate of such “no-shows,” three OB/GYN residents (Jenna Hynes, MD; Shelun Tsai, MD; and Vivienne Meljen, MD) have designed an easy-to-read informational flyer to encourage patients to attend their visits. By providing information regarding the importance of pap smear screening, reassurance, and details regarding what to expect at each visit, the team hopes to bring more women to clinic. The flyer will be provided in both English and Spanish. With help from the clinic staff, these flyers will be mailed to each patient with their routine reminder letter weeks in advance of their appointments. Over the next year, we hope to improve the rate of attendance in Cervix Clinic with the end goal of decreasing the effect of cervical cancer in the Duke community.