Specialty differences in physicians’ recommendations in relation to women’s pap testing behavior

Martha A. Teitelbaum, Carol S. Weisman, Ann C. Klassen, David Celentano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Using data from a survey of internists, family and general practitioners, and obstetricians and gynecologists, and of women in Maryland, this article exam-ines congruence between physicians’ recommendations and women’s Papani-colaou (Pap) testing behavior. Both the specialty of the physicians and the age of the women are considered. The majority of all three physician specialties recommended annual Pap tests for all their patients. However, the internists and family or general practitioners were less likely to recommend annual Pap smears for their elderly patients than for their younger patients. Obstetrician- gynecologists were consistently more likely than the other specialties to recom-mend annual Pap tests, to send postcards to their patients reminding them to come in for Pap tests, and to view themselves as successful in inducing their patients to come in for routine Pap testing. Both the physicians and the women reported that elderly women were less likely than younger women to receive care from obstetrician-gynecologists. Women’s reported Pap testing behavior indicated that they received Pap tests with far less frequency than the physicians recommended. Older age was related to less frequent Pap testing, while having a visit with an obstetrician-gynecologist was related to increased fre-quency. Findings indicate the need for education of physicians about methods of improving women’s attendance for Pap testing and of women about the importance of routine Pap testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-618
Number of pages12
JournalMedical care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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