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Keywords:

  • cervical cancer;
  • cervical cancer screening;
  • continuing education;
  • HPV testing;
  • patient counselling

Abstract

Aim

The purpose of this project was to assess free and low-cost web-based continuing education activities to determine if they reflect updated national guidelines for cervical cancer screening.

Methods

A qualitative design and descriptive statistics were used to conduct a content analysis. An abstraction tool was used to evaluate 15 continuing education activities. Data collection was conducted between January and February 2013 by two registered nurses. The results were recorded independently and compared for agreement between data collectors, as well as inter-rater reliability of the data collectors, and the abstraction tool was used to collect data for the analysis.

Results

The majority of the continuing education activities included the updated guidelines for screening intervals, the age to begin screening and when to discontinue screening. Most of the activities also indicated that human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing is not recommended for younger women. Very few of the continuing education activities included tips for providers to use when counselling patients.

Conclusions

The correct information on age-appropriate screening intervals and HPV co-testing was included in the continuing education activities reviewed. The areas that were largely underrepresented in the continuing education activities were the risk factors, prevention measures for transmission of HPV, patient counselling about HPV and the appropriate screening practices.