Patients with high-grade cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs) were previously managed with annual cytology tests post treatment. However, this recommendation was revised and testing for high-risk human papillomavirus (HR HPV) types is now an integral part of post treatment follow-up.
To survey General Practitioners (GPs) awareness and compliance with the recommended cotesting (HPV and cytology) management pathway for patients following treatment for an HSIL.
Post consultation with key stakeholders, an anonymous self-complete questionnaire was developed and disseminated to all identified GPs that had provided a cervical screening test during the period 01-July-2012 to 30-June-2013.
Responses were received from 745/2,545 GPs (30.9% response rate). The majority of GPs reported they did not always receive a clear follow-up plan for patients post treatment of an HSIL. A significant number (34.3%) of GPs were unaware of the use of cotesting (HPV and cytology) in the management of patients post HSIL treatment.
GPs require further support and education to ensure successful adoption of cotesting (HPV and cervical cytology testing), specifically in its use for patients treated for an HSIL. Appropriate use of HR HPV testing that confirms clearance of oncogenic HPV types will reassure and assist GPs in managing patients back to a routine cervical screening interval.