Pap smear quality parameters of 3 sampling devices used by auxiliary nurse midwives on symptomatic rural Indian women

Lakshmi Rao, Veena Kamath, Mathilde E. Boon, Manna Valiathan, Anuradha C.K. Rao

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine whether auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) could make good-quality Pap smears after focused training and to determine which sampling device is most effective in their hands in field practice areas. Study Design: In a downstaging cervical cancer screening program, 394 symptomatic rural Indian women between the ages of 35 and 60 were identified by the ANMs in 2 villages, with a total population of 14,747, and were invited to have a smear taken. Two hundred of these symptomatic women responded. The ANMs were educated to render information on screening for cervical cancer and to take smears with 3 sampling devices - Ayre spatula, modified spatula (with extended tip) and Cytobrush (Medscand AB, Malmö, Sweden). The smears were evaluated for 6 adequacy parameters. Smears made by gynecologists were used as controls. To establish the superiority of a method, χ2 tests were used. Results: All smears made by the ANMs could be used to render a cytologic diagnosis. The adequacy parameters of all the smears made by ANMs at least matched those of the gynecologists. The best results were obtained with modified spatula (with extended tip) and combination of Cytobrush with modified spatula. Conclusion: Since only 50% of symptomatic rural women came for Pap testing, we conclude it is not easy to motivate women for such testing, even if a large-scale educational effort is made. ANMs can be taught to take reasonably good quality Pap smears. The superior sampling device for ANMs is the modified spatula (with extended tip).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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