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Summary: The purpose of this study was to estimate the extent of association of cervical screening in NSW women with socio-economic status (SES), rurality, and proportions of non-English speaking background (NESB) and Indigenous status.

Data on women who had at least one Pap test over two years (January 1998-December 1999) were obtained from the NSW Pap test Register. Each local government area (LGA) was allocated to categories of population proportions of NESB and Indigenous status, a rurality classification based on population density and remoteness, and to an SES quintile. The odds ratios (OR) of having a Pap test were estimated and confounding adjusted by multiple logistic regression analysis. Implied Pap test rates in urban NESB and in rural Indigenous women were estimated from the modelled estimates.

The adjusted OR for a Pap test in large rural centres (1.14) was significantly higher than those for metropolitan or capital city residents (0.9 and 1.0 respectively). Adjusted OR for a Pap test in other rural centres (0.73) and other remote areas (0.64) were significantly lower than those for metropolitan or capital city residents. In urban populations the lowest OR were in areas with both low SES and high proportion of NESB. The lowest OR for Pap screening in rural populations occurred in the most remote areas with the highest proportion of Indigenous women. For urban NESB women the biennial Pap test rate was estimated as 50oo and for rural Indigenous women 29%, compared with the NSW average of 59oo.