Ethics. Research. Community.

Improving the quality of communication in organised cervical cancer screening programmes.

Patient education and counseling. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
OBJECTIVE: To provide health professionals involved in cervical cancer screening with an insight into the complex issues relating to communication about screening and to provide a framework for a more effective communication strategy. METHODS: This paper has been compiled by a multidisciplinary pan-European group of health professionals and cancer advocates from several European screening programmes. European surveys on screening communication, literature reviews and group discussion were used for this purpose. RESULTS: Information on cervical screening must be accessible, relevant, comprehensible, comprehensive, client-centred, phase-specific and multilevel. An effective communication strategy should consider health professionals' screening knowledge and their communication skills, consumers' health literacy skills and the communication needs of specific sub-groups in the target population. Co-operation between screening professionals, advocacy groups and journalists should be promoted. CONCLUSION: To communicate effectively and appropriately is a complex task which can be influenced by a number of factors. Screening workers need better information themselves and must take into account the needs and characteristics of the target population. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This document should provide a useful tool to help screening professionals in designing and developing good quality and effective communication strategies.
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