An invitational organized cervical cancer screening together with widely spread opportunistic testing has coexisted for decades in Finland. The aim of this study was to examine the coverage of cervical tests by age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and municipality type within and outside the organized screening program. We had a cohort of women of whom 1,2 million were in the target age range of screening and residing in Finland in 2010-2014. Data on Pap and/or HPV -tests within and outside the screening program were collected from the Mass Screening Registry, the pathology laboratories and the health insurance reimbursement registry and five-year population coverages of tests were reported. The total test coverage was 86.0%; 95% CI, (85.8-86.1), and was notably lower for those with an unknown socioeconomic status and pensioners (68.8%; 95% CI, (67.9-69.6) and 77.1%; 95% CI, (76.5-77.6), respectively) compared to upper-level employers (89.8%; 95% CI, (89.5-90.2)). Coverage was also lower for non-native speaking women (72.4%; 95% CI, (71.8-73.0)) compared to native speakers (86.9%; 95% CI, (86.7-87.0)) and for women living in urban municipalities (85.5%; 95% CI, (85.3-85.7)) compared to semi-urban (87.4%; 95% CI, (87.0-87.8)). Although overall coverage was high, tests within and outside the program seemed to concentrate on women with presumably good access to health services. Tests outside the program were especially common among young women who are at a low risk of invasive cervical cancer. Efforts should be made to reduce excessive opportunistic testing and to increase attendance at the program among hard-to-reach populations.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.

References

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