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Social inequalities in cervical cancer screening: a discrete choice experiment among French general practitioners and gynaecologists

Abstract :
Background
Cervical cancer screening is effective in reducing mortality due to uterine cervical cancer (UCC). However, inequalities in participation in UCC screening exist, especially according to age and social status. Considering the current situation in France regarding the ongoing organized UCC screening campaign, we aimed to assess general practitioners’ (GPs) and gynaecologists’ preferences for actions designed to reduce screening inequalities.

Methods
French physicians’ preferences to UCC screening modalities was assessed using a discrete choice experiment. A national cross-sectional questionnaire was sent between September and October 2014 to 500 randomly selected physicians, and numerically to all targeted physicians working in the French region Midi-Pyrénées. Practitioners were offered 11 binary choices of organized screening scenarios in order to reduce inequalities in UCC screening participation. Each scenario was based on five attributes corresponding to five ways to enhance participation in UCC screening while reducing screening inequalities.

Results
Among the 123 respondents included, practitioners voted for additional interventions targeting non-screened women overall ( p < 0.05), including centralized invitations sent from a central authority and involving the mentioned attending physician, or providing attending physicians with the lists of unscreened women among their patients. However, they rejected the specific targeting of women over 50 years old ( p < 0.01) or living in deprived areas ( p < 0.05). Only GPs were in favour of allowing nurses to perform Pap smears, but both GPs and gynaecologists rejected self-collected oncogenic papillomavirus testing.

Conclusions
French practitioners tended to value the traditional principle of universalism. As well as rejecting self-collected oncogenic papillomavirus testing, their reluctance to support the principle of proportionate universalism relying on additional interventions addressing differences in socioeconomic status needs further evaluation. As these two concepts have already been recommended as secondary development leads for the French national organized screening campaign currently being implemented, the adherence of practitioners and the adaptation of these concepts are necessary conditions for reducing inequalities in health care.
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Journal articles
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03361966
Contributor : Guillaume Grandazzi Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, October 1, 2021 - 4:11:39 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 3:51:20 PM

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Thibaut Raginel, Guillaume Grandazzi, Guy Launoy, Mélanie Trocmé, Véronique Christophe, et al.. Social inequalities in cervical cancer screening: a discrete choice experiment among French general practitioners and gynaecologists. BMC Health Services Research, BioMed Central, 2020, 20 (art. 693), [10 p.]. ⟨10.1186/s12913-020-05479-w⟩. ⟨hal-03361966⟩

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