Demographic variables routinely collected at colposcopic examination do not predict who will default from conservative management of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 1
Objective: As a result of the low incidence of progression from low grade epithelial abnormalities to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 3 or cervical cancer, a conservative approach to management is supported, especially in young women. Loss to follow-up is a recognised problem with a conservative approach however, with women defaulting known to experience higher rates of cancer.
Aim: To determine if any routinely collected demographic variables could predict which Australian women would subsequently default from care having initially elected to have conservative management of CIN 1 lesions.
Methods: Prospectively collected data was audited on 279 women with a colposcopically directed biopsy diagnosis of CIN 1, confirmed on external review, who were enroled by their own choice into a conservative management program and monitored until a definitive lesion outcome was determined. Women who defaulted from follow-up and were lost to care providers despite follow-up appointments and reminder letters were compared to women who completed follow-up with either lesion resolution or progression requiring treatment, to establish if there were any demographic variables to predict default from care.
Results: Fifty-two (18.5%) women subsequently defaulted from follow-up. There were no significant differences in age, parity, proportion of women who were pregnant at diagnosis, smoking status, immunosuppressed or had a ‘human papillomavirus (HPV) effect’ reported on Pap-smear or colposcopic examination.
Conclusion: We cannot easily identify a subgroup of women who are more likely to default from follow-up of CIN 1 using routinely collected demographic data. Default from follow-up is a major risk with conservative approaches and further research to reduce default rates are required.
Quinlivan, J. A., Petersen, R. W., Gani, L., & Tan, J. (2005). Demographic variables routinely collected at colposcopic examination do not predict who will default from conservative management of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 45(1), 48-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2005.00353.x