A study looking at ways of increasing the number of young women who take up the offer of cervical screening (STRATEGIC)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Cervical cancer




Phase 2

This study is looking at how to increase the number of young women who accept their invitation for cervical screening.

In England, women aged between 25 and 64 are routinely invited to attend for cervical screening. In Scotland, women receive their first invitation by the age of 20. The number of young women who take up this offer of screening is quite low. Researchers want to find out if there are things that would make screening more acceptable to this group.

In this study, they are looking at a range of things that may help. Researchers call these interventions. They include

  • A leaflet to provide more information for women before they receive their 1st invite for screening
  • The opportunity to book a screening appointment on the internet

For young women who don’t respond to the 1st screening invite, researchers will also look at

  • Sending an appointment time
  • An HPV test that you can do at home
  • A specialist nurse (Nurse Navigator) being available to answer questions about screening

The aim of the study is to see if adding a range of interventions to routine practice increases the number of young women who take up the offer of cervical screening.

Who can enter

You will be asked to take part in this study if your GP practice is involved and you are about to receive your 1st invitation from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP). In England the women will be 24 ½, in Scotland they will be 19 ½.    

Please note - You cannot volunteer to take part in this study.

Trial design

The study will take place in 2 areas – Aberdeenshire and Greater Manchester.

In the 1st part of the study, researchers will look at a leaflet and also a system that women can use to make appointments on the internet, instead of needing to phone their GP.

Young women registered with some of the GP practices involved in the study will receive a leaflet from the NHSCSP about 6 weeks before they receive their 1st screening invite. Women registered with other GP practices involved in the study will not receive a leaflet. Whether or not you receive a leaflet is decided by a computer, not by the GP. This is called randomisation.

If your GP is in the Manchester area, the NHSCSP may send you a letter with your screening invite. This will offer you the option of booking an appointment on the internet. Whether or not you receive this letter is also randomised.

In the 2nd part of this study, researchers will test a number of different things with young women who didn’t respond to their 1st invitation for screening. These are

  • Offering home testing for HPV, to see if you need to attend for cervical screening
  • Discussing any concerns you have about screening with a specialist nurse
  • Choosing between HPV home testing and the specialist nurse
  • Sending an appointment time that you can either confirm, cancel or ignore

You may receive one of these things or none of them.  As with the 1st part of the study, this will be decided at random. If you are offered one, you will be sent more information.

Hospital visits

If you accept the invitation, you go to your GP surgery or family planning clinic for cervical screening. Taking part in the study does not involve any extra visits.

If you agree to have an HPV test at home and the result is negative, you do not need to have a smear test at this time. You will receive your next invitation for screening in 3 years time.

Side effects

There are no side effects from taking part in this study. We have more information about cervical screening in our cervical cancer section.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Henry Kitchener

Supported by

NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme
University of Manchester

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 9375

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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