The National Cervical Screening Program was renewed in Australia from 1 December 2017, with the introduction of 5-yearly human papilloma virus (HPV) screening from age 25, and the release of updated national screening guidelines. This study aimed to determine health professional knowledge of the renewed screening program following implementation.
A survey of 241 health professionals in NSW found they had strong knowledge of key aspects of the renewed National Cervical Screening program. However, the study highlighted some important gaps that could impact successful delivery of the program in Australia - including around management of immune-deficient women, screening after total hysterectomy and correctly identifying indications for self-collected screening.
The study also highlighted significant associations between practitioner characteristics, including how frequently they accessed the guidelines, specific educational activities undertaken and geographic location.and knowledge levels, which will be important for education providers to note. Targeted educational interventions informed by these findings could support health professionals to better translate guidelines into practice and ensure successful delivery of this important public health program.