[Analysis and review of protocols and quality standards in the diagnostic process for the detection of cervical cancer]

Elizalde B, Ugalde F, Beguiristain J M, Gutierrez A, Rezola R, Arbulu A
Record ID 32002000712
Original Title: Análisis y revisión de los protocolos y stándares de calidad en el proceso de diagnóstico de la prevención del cáncer cervical.
Authors' objectives: 1. Review the scientific evidence on the cervical-vaginal cytology test process, from taking the sample to reading. 2. Review the quality standards established by scientific societies both for taking, fixing and transporting the sample and for its reading in the laboratory. 3. Review current operating protocols relating to the performance of this test in the different health centres in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country and determine the level of compliance by professionals of these protocols. 4. Unify the type of cytology information and the way this is collected for all the health centres in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. 5. Establish recommendations that allow an improvement in the effectiveness of the test.
Authors' results and conclusions: - The benefits of the Papanicolau test, as an early detection test of cervical cancer, depend upon the quality of the sample taken, fixed and transported as well as its reading in the laboratory. - The criteria to be complied with in order to guarantee the quality of the test are agreed by general consensus, clearly defined and easy to comply with. - In the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, cytologies are performed by well-trained professionals, provided with the necessary equipment and approriate material. This means that virtually all the samples taken are valid for diagnosis. - There is an important contradiction between the data health service professionals recognise is relevant to determine and the gathering of this information. Most of the request reports used indicate the variables of interest to the doctor, but these are not always supplied. - Internal quality controls are performed in all laboratories, but external controls are carried out in only one of these.
Authors' recommendations: - There should be only one information gathering form for the entire Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. This should include all the variables that according to scientific evidence should be collected in order to be able to interpret the sample correctly. Furthermore, the form should be a single instrument and include both information on the sample and the pathological diagnosis. - Women should be told what preparations should be made before the test is performed (not to have sexual relations during the previous 24 hours, no be in menstruation, not to have topical vaginal treatment up to a week beforehand, etc.). - The health service professionals who perform the test should be reminded of the importance of complying with the variables in order to facilitate the work of the person entrusted with reading the sample. - Laboratories should be obliged to perform both internal and external quality controls.
Authors' methods: - The search and review of the scientific evidence was carried out in the following databases: Medline, HealthStar, Cochrane Library and Best Evidence. - A questionnaire was sent to professionals who perform cytologies as well as those who read these, in order to determine health care practice and compliance with existing protocols. - Reports made both by the gynaecologist and/or midwife at the time the sample is collected and those issued by pathologists to the health service professionals who request these, corresponding to the period January-June 1999.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Spain
MeSH Terms
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
  • Cytological Techniques
Organisation Name: Basque Office for Health Technology Assessment
Contact Address: C/ Donostia – San Sebastián, 1 (Edificio Lakua II, 4ª planta) 01010 Vitoria - Gasteiz
Contact Name: Lorea Galnares-Cordero
Contact Email: lgalnares@bioef.eus
Copyright: <p>Basque Office for Health Technology Assessment, Health Department Basque Government (OSTEBA)</p>
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.