Objective The Carolina Framework for Cervical Cancer Prevention describes 4 main causes of cervical cancer incidence: human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, lack of screening, screening errors, and not receiving follow-up care. We present 2 applications of the Carolina Framework in which we identify high-need counties in North Carolina and generate recommendations for improving prevention efforts. Methods We created a cervical cancer prevention need index (CCPNI) that ranked counties on cervical cancer mortality, HPV vaccine initiation and completion, Pap smear screening, and provision of Pap tests to rarely- or never-screened women. In addition, we conducted in-depth interviews with 19 key informants from programs and agencies involved in cervical cancer prevention in North Carolina. Results North Carolina's 100 counties varied widely on individual CCPNI components, including annual cervical cancer mortality (median 2.7/100,000 women; range 0.0-8.0), adolescent girls' HPV vaccine initiation (median 42%; range 15%-62%), and Pap testing in the previous 3 years among Medicaid-insured adult women (median 59%; range 40%-83%). Counties with the greatest prevention needs formed 2 distinct clusters in the northeast and south-central regions of the state. Interviews generated 9 recommendations to improve cervical cancer prevention in North Carolina, identifying applications to specific programs and policies in the state. Conclusions This study found striking geographic disparities in cervical cancer prevention need in North Carolina. Future prevention efforts in the state should prioritize high-need regions as well as recommended strategies and applications in existing programs. Other states can use the Carolina Framework to increase the impact of their cervical cancer prevention efforts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Obstetrics and Gynecology