Document Type

DNP Project

Department

School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2021

Primary Advisor

Karen Whitt, PhD, AGN-BC, FNP-C, FAANP; Jeanne Murphy, PhD, CNM, FACNM

Keywords

cervical cancer; screening; guidelines; provider knowledge; COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract

Background: Despite the evidence-based value of cervical cancer screening, recent updates to guidelines, and general availability of the Papanicolaou (Pap) test, guideline-adherent screening rates remain low. The COVID-19 pandemic further impedes progress as preventive healthcare is delayed and patients are reluctant to enter healthcare facilities.

Objectives: The purpose of this project was to evaluate if provider education and patient reminder letters comprising written education and risk-mitigation efforts improved cervical cancer screening rates and increased providers’ knowledge of appropriate follow-up during reopening of a metro family practice clinic amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A multi-faceted quality improvement project included a 3-month intervention phase comprised of: (1) provider education with descriptive analysis of pre- and post-intervention knowledge of cervical cancer screening scores as well as, (2) distribution of reminder letters to 295 eligible patients.

Results: The overall cervical cancer screening rate increased by 1% during the 3-month period. Provider questionnaire scores noted a significant increase in knowledge and intent to change practice patterns (p<.05) and confirmed a significant improvement in providers’ knowledge of cervical cancer screening and management of abnormal cervical cytology/histology following implementation of provider education (p<.05).

Conclusion: Findings indicate that provider education improves knowledge of cervical cancer screening and follow-up, as well as, fosters an intent to change practice patterns according to established guidelines. Reminder letters did provide a modest increase in cervical cancer screening rates during the COVID-19 pandemic suggesting that written education and risk-mitigation efforts can encourage patients to schedule in-person appointments.

Open Access

1

Included in

Nursing Commons

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