Project Summary

Background: Screening with cytology has paralleled large decreases in cervical cancer mortality in the United States. However, there have been issues both with over- and underscreening of young women.

Proposed Solution: This project will continue the partnership between the University of California, Irvine (UCI), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), a patient advocacy program of the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), and the California Primary Care Association (CPCA). The project team will disseminate an effective online patient education tool, “Decreasing Overtesting but On time (DOTS-O),” that enables English- and Spanish-speaking women to make informed decisions about cervical cancer screening and to better communicate with their provider.

Objectives: The study seeks to inform patients and providers on evidence-based HPV testing and cervical cytology guidelines and to engage patient groups in dissemination research. The project’s aims are to:

  • Increase patient knowledge about HPV and cervical cancer screening guidelines as well as patient’s comfort and ability to communicate with the provider about cervical cancer screening and management of abnormal cytology.
  • Increase provider adherence to cervical cancer screening guidelines and enhance skills for engaging patients in cancer screening and follow-up through the use of the DOTS-O tool.
  • Facilitate patient engagement in cervical cancer dissemination research.

Activities: NCCC will conduct patient outreach through a multiplatform social media campaign and its network of social media ambassadors. NCCC will increase the DOTS-O dissemination reach by leveraging the channels and networks of its parent organization, ASHA. The project team will encourage clinic-wide adoption of the DOTS-O tool through conference participation and webinars along with written resources. The team will organize a webinar to engage NCCC opinion leaders in dissemination research and next steps in cervical cancer dissemination. Traffic to the DOTS-O tool landing page will be monitored with Google Analytics. The team will administer a survey to DOTS-O users to assess the impact of the tool in a nonclinical environment and conduct post-training assessments of the training events (provider workshops and webinars).

Outcomes and Outputs: The project team expects to reach 35,000 ASHA/NCCC online users, 500 social media ambassadors, and 300+ providers. The team will have an accessible patient education tool, two provider education podcasts, and handouts. Providers will increase use of DOTS-O in their clinic practice. DOTS-O users will improve screening and engagement with their providers.

Engagement Plan: A dissemination advisory group will meet semi-annually. NCCC’s social media ambassadors and NCCC chapter leaders will be involved throughout the project and provide their insights. CPCA will gather feedback from webinar provider attendees.

Project Collaborators: UCI and UCLA will assure clinical accuracy and conduct provider outreach, including national provider webinars with CPCA. The sub-awardee ASHA/NCCC will promote DOTS-O through its online community and social media ambassador network to patients. The dissemination advisory board will represent research, provider, and patient organizations.

Project Information

Heike Thiel de Bocanegra, PhD, MPH
The Regents of the University of California, Irvine

Key Dates

26 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: March 15, 2024