March 17, 2020

✪ Evaluating the implementation of cervical cancer screening programs in low-resource settings globally: a systematized review


J. Andrew Dykens, Jennifer S. Smith, Margaret Demment, E. Marshall, Tina Schuh, Karen Peters, Tracy Irwin, Scott McIntosh, Angela Sy & Timothy Dye

University of Washington affiliated authors are displayed in bold.

➲ Open Access

Published: March 2020

Read the full text in the open access journal Cancer Causes & Control



Cervical cancer disproportionately burdens low-resource populations where access to quality screening services is limited. A greater understanding of sustainable approaches to implement cervical cancer screening services is needed.


We conducted a systematized literature review of evaluations from cervical cancer screening programs implemented in resource-limited settings globally that included a formal evaluation and intention of program sustainment over time. We categorized the included studies using the continuum of implementation research framework which categorizes studies progressively from “implementation light” to more implementation intensive.


Fifty-one of 13,330 initially identified papers were reviewed with most study sites in low-resource settings of middle-income countries (94.1%) ,while 9.8% were in low-income countries. Across all studies, visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (58.8%) was the most prevalent screening method followed by cytology testing (39.2%). Demand-side (client and community) considerations were reported in 86.3% of the articles, while 68.6% focused scientific inquiry on the supply side (health service). Eighteen articles (35.3%) were categorized as “Informing Scale-up” along the continuum of implementation research.


The number of cervical cancer screening implementation reports is limited globally, especially in low-income countries. The 18 papers we classified as Informing Scale-up provide critical insights for developing programs relevant to implementation outcomes. We recommend that program managers report lessons learnt to build collective implementation knowledge for cervical cancer screening services, globally.

**This abstract is posted with permission under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License**