Introducing the ACCF Comfort Checklist
For a more comfortable cervical screening experience
ACCF has developed a new woman-focused “comfort checklist” for cervical screening.
This checklist has been developed with our Panel of Experts which includes;
– Cervical Screening Nurse – Muriel Baird
– GP – Dr Kim Morgan-Short
– Gynaecologist – Associate Professor Gino Pecoraro
– ACCF Board Member – Linda Lavarch
- Increase awareness and understanding of the need for regular screening amongst Australian women
- Increase the likelihood of cervical screening being perceived as a “comfortable” procedure and positive experience
- Include ways to overcome barriers to improve screening adherence
Why is the ACCF Comfort Checklist for Women so important?
To save women’s lives! The rate of women undertaking regular cervical screening must be increased from the current 57% (that’s 43% of women not being regularly screened).
While various guidelines exist for healthcare professionals, there are no practical initiatives specifically aimed at ensuring a pleasant screening experience for the women having the procedure.
Research – What women want
ACCF’s research, conducted independently by Galkal with 620 women, suggests that an initiative such as a woman-focused “comfort checklist,” including interactive behaviours such as reassuring communication throughout the procedure, could help address emotional and physical barriers amongst the 43% of Australian women who do not get screened regularly.
ACCF’s recent research into women’s attitudes towards cervical screening revealed that common barriers to cervical screening tests are:
- Emotional discomfort (45%),
- Forgetfulness (36%),
- Physical discomfort (31%), and
- A lack of knowledge (27%) of its necessity or who qualifies for screening*
*All women who have ever been sexually active (both heterosexual and homosexual) should be screened every 5 years from the age of 25.
A concept endorsed Australian women
We checked the appeal of a Comfort Checklist with 620 Australian women. It scored highly at 69%. Most women felt it would help address the anxiety and the vulnerability felt by some women. Moreover, 54% of women said they were likely to refer to it and use it.
Endorsed by the Australian Women’s Health Network
AWHN is a health promotion advocacy organisation providing a national voice on women’s health. AWHN have reviewed and support this initiative as a reference resource for women.
For more information on Australian Women’s Health Network; click on http://awhn.org.au/
“We hope this Checklist will help Australian women feel more at ease during their cervical screening experience and be more empowered to take charge of their health.
We thank our Panel of Experts for their input and guidance in the development of this important initiative to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in Australian women.”
Joe Tooma, CEO, Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation