Toolkit for engaging Under-screened and Never-screened women in the National Cervical Screening Program
Women should be supported to make an informed choice about participating in the NCSP. As with all medical testing, informed consent must be obtained before the Cervical Screening Test is undertaken.
Informed consent for screening can only be given if women:
- Have the capacity to give informed consent to the proposed procedure
- Have been given adequate information to enable them to make an informed decision
- Have been given a reasonable opportunity to make the decision
- Have given consent freely without undue pressure or coercion by any other person, and
- Have not withdrawn consent or indicated any intention to withdraw consent.
Benefits of cervical screening
Potential harms associated with cervical screening
(Please note that the risk of treatment-related harm is minimised in the renewed NCSP as reflex LBC will be used to triage samples that have oncogenic HPV types detected.)
Informed consent is particularly important when working with women with low English literacy and women with intellectual disabilities. Healthcare providers should take additional steps to ensure these patients have been given sufficient information, that they fully understand the procedure and that they freely consent.
Healthcare provider resource:
- General Guidelines for Medical Practitioners on Providing Information to Patients – (14 pages) National Health and Medical Resource Council (NHMRC)