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

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Cancer type:

Cervical cancer

Status:

Results

Phase:

Phase 1/2

This study wanted to see whether adding different interventions to routine practice, increases the number of young women who take up the offer of cervical screening. 

It was for young women who were about to receive their first invitation to take part in the NHS cervical screening programme. 

More about this trial

In the UK, women between the ages of 25 and 64 are routinely invited to take part in the NHS cervical screening programme every 3 to 5 years. 
 
The NHS cervical screening programme aims to pick up and treat abnormal cells in the neck of the womb (cervix). These abnormal cells could lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. 
 
Researchers know that the number of young women who take up screening is low. So they wanted to find out if they could increase the number taking part. 
 
In this study, researchers looked at a number of interventions that could help. They included:
  • a leaflet with more information for women before they received their 1st invite for screening
  • the opportunity to book a screening appointment on the internet
They also looked at the women who didn’t respond to their 1st screening invitation. They looked at adding the following interventions:
  • sending an appointment time
  • a screening test that they could do at home 
  • a specialist nurse (nurse navigator) that could answer questions about screening 
The main aim of this study was to see whether adding interventions increases the number of young women who take up the offer of cervical screening. 

Summary of results

The study doctors found that 2 interventions increased the number of young women who took up the offer of cervical screening. 
 
This study was open to join between 2012 and 2014, and published these results in 2017. 
 
About this study
This study was in 2 parts (phases). Both parts were randomised
 
In the first part, researchers looked at a leaflet and an online system that women could use to make an appointment. This was instead of needing to phone their GP.
 
Researchers identified 20,879 women that were eligible to join this part of the study. Of these women:
  • 2,641 received a leaflet and were able to book an appointment online
  • 2,352 received a leaflet but were not able to book an appointment online
  • 2,115 didn’t receive a leaflet but were able to book an appointment online
  • 2,626 didn’t receive a leaflet and were not able to book an appointment online
The 2nd part of this study looked at the women who didn’t take up the offer of cervical screening. This was 6 months after their initial invitation. They identified 10,126 women. 
 
Researchers then randomised them to receive one of the following interventions:
  • sending a screening test that they could do at home 
  • an offer to receive a screening test that they could do at home
  • a time for a screening appointment
  • a specialist nurse (nurse navigator) that could answer questions about screening 
  • a choice between a nurse navigator and the offer to receive a screening test that they could do at home
  • no further intervention (the control group Open a glossary item
Results
Researchers looked at the different interventions. 
 
During part 1 of the study they found that neither the leaflet nor the online booking system increased the number of women who took up screening. 
 
In part 2, they found that two interventions increased the number who had screening a year after receiving the invitation. The interventions were:
  • sending a screening test that they could do at home 
  • a time for a screening appointment
They found that the number of people who took up screening was higher in the group of women who had the HPV vaccine.  At the time this study was done, the HPV vaccine was offered to girls aged between 11 and 13. 
 
Conclusion
Researchers concluded that sending a screening test that women can do at home and giving a date and time for a screening appointment increases the number of young women who take up screening. 
 
They also concluded that women who have had the HPV vaccine are more likely to take up screening. Researchers think that this might be because they are more aware of cervical cancer. 
 
Researchers don’t know whether these interventions will also work in older women. So they would like to continue looking at different interventions to increase the number of women who take up screening. 
 
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

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

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Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

9375

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

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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