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Practical tips and information for cervical screening in general practice

  • If the woman is not up to date with cervical screening, use the PMS to place an alert on her medical record so that a smear can be offered the next time she attends the general practice
  • Take the opportunity to briefly mention to women just prior to their twentieth birthday that they will now need regular cervical screening if they have ever been sexually active
  • Provide advice and educational material about cervical cancer, the smear test and about what the results mean, i.e. an abnormal cervical smear result rarely indicates cervical cancer

See Best Practice Journal, Issue 55 for further information:

National Data

73% of New Zealand’s target population had a cervical screening test between 2010 & 2012*

Under 20 years of age

Nearly 4000 women aged under 20 years had a cervical smear sample taken between 2010 – 2012. This is not recommended practice. The focus of cervical cancer prevention in these women should be appropriate and timely use of the HPV vaccine which is fully subsidised until their 20th birthday.


  • European women were the only ethnic group who met the 75% target
  • Women aged 20 – 29 years and those with a Pacific ethnicity had low cervical screening rates ( ≤60%)



Practice Data

73% of A Samples Practice’s target population had a cervical screening test between 2010 & 2012*

* For the 3 year period, 2010-2012 from any cervical smear provider, hysterectomy adjusted
(estimated from national hysterectomy data)

1. District Health Boards Shared Services (DHBSS). PHO Performance Programme. Indicator definitions for PHOs. Version 5.5.2012. Available from: (Accessed Sep, 2013)