Participation

Cervical screening participation data

For the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP), participation refers to the number of people aged 25–74 screened in a 5-year period as a percentage of females in the population.

For the 2018–2019 period, participation is defined as the number of people who had a screening HPV test (primary screening or 12-month repeat HPV tests). This is a change from previous AIHW reports in which participation was defined as the number of people who had an HPV test for any reason. This means participation is lower than, and not comparable to, previous reports. This definition restricts participation to screening tests, which aligns with the definition of participation for Australia’s 2 other population-based cancer screening programs.

Participation data help us to know the extent to which target groups are being reached, and are usually measured over a longer period of time than activity data.

From 1 December 2017, the NCSP changed to 5-yearly cervical screening, for those aged 25–74. Participation is therefore measured over 5 calendar years to align with the recommended screening interval.

Participation in the new 5-year program cannot be properly reported until there are 5 years of data available. In the interim, preliminary estimates have been calculated, including a 2-year estimate of participation for 2018–2019.

Explore the latest data in the visualisations below.

How many people participated in cervical screening?

In 2018–2019:

  • 3.1 million people aged 25–74 had a Cervical Screening Test
  • this was an estimated two-year participation rate of 46%.

Does participation vary by age and state/territory?

In 2018–2019:

  • people aged 55–59 and 60–64 had the highest participation rate (52%)
  • people aged 70–74 had the lowest participation rate (23%)
  • South Australia had the highest participation rate among the states and territories, for people aged 25–74 (51% age-standardised rate).

Note that lower participation rates are expected among people aged 70–74 as they have re-entered the target age group under the renewed NCSP, after leaving the previous program after age 69.

Has participation changed over time?

The national age-standardised estimated participation rate was 48% in 2018 and 47% in 2018–2019.

 

This data visualisation shows participation data for the National Cervical Screening Program for 2018 and 2018–2019. The bar graph shows participation by age group and can be filtered by state/territory and year. The line graph on the second tab shows trend data by type of measure (number of participants and participation rate), state/territory, and age group. A third tab shows the participation data in a table form and can be filtered by measure and state/territory.

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How does participation vary by Primary Health Network?

Primary Health Network (PHN) areas are 31 areas covering Australia, as defined by the Department of Health.

In 2018–2019:

  • Adelaide had the highest participation rate among PHN areas (51%)
  • Western Sydney had the lowest participation rate (39%).

 

This data visualisation shows participation data for the National Cervical Screening Program, by Primary Health Network. The map can be filtered by state/territory and year, and uses shaded areas of colour to show participation rates. The bar graph on the second tab can be filtered by age group and year and shows the participation rate of each Primary Health Network for the selected period. A third tab shows the participation data by Primary Health Network in a table form and can be filtered by measure (number of participants, eligible population and participation rate), state/territory and age group.

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How does participation vary by Statistical Area Level 3?

Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3) consists of 333 geographical areas covering Australia, defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In 2018–2019:

  • Barwon – West had the highest participation rate among SA3 areas (61%)
  • East Pilbara had the lowest participation rate (31%).

 

This data visualisation shows participation data for the National Cervical Screening Program, by Statistical Area Level 3. The map can be filtered by state/territory, year and age group, and uses shaded areas of colour to show participation rates. The bar graph on the second tab can be filtered by state/territory, age group and year and shows the participation rate of each Statistical Area Level 3 for the selected period. A third tab shows the participation data by Statistical Area Level 3 in a table form and can be filtered by measure (number of participants, eligible population and participation rate), state/territory and age group.

Visualisation not available for printing