Clinical decision-making following abnormal Papanicolaou smear reports.

Daron Gale Ferris, M. D. Miller, P. Wagner, E. Walaitis, F. H. Lawler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Interpretation of abnormal Papanicolaou smear reports and the subsequent management of the patient frequently present significant decision-making problems for clinicians. The purpose of this study was to evaluate family physician clinical decision-making strategies for abnormal cervical cytology reports using simulation techniques. METHODS: One hundred fifteen practicing family physicians evaluated two simulations of women with abnormal cervical cytology, the first with inflammatory cytology and the second with a high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. RESULTS: Most physicians (66%) selected an etiology evaluation and specific treatment approach to an inflammatory report, while 26% of respondents chose empiric treatment. For the high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion simulation, 88% of physicians chose the appropriate management response of colposcopic evaluation. CONCLUSIONS: Practice experience, level of involvement, clinician gender, and type of cervical cytology classification influenced family physician clinical decision-making. The majority of responses to an inflammatory or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion report was appropriate based on current scientific data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-353
Number of pages11
JournalThe Family practice research journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


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