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The computerised age-sex register of the population attending a small health centre was used to generate invitations to women aged from 25 to 64 years to attend for a cervical smear. The campaign took place over about three months and was accompanied by appropriate publicity measures.
Replies were received from 80·7 per cent of those to whom invitations were sent. Of those who replied, 11·5 per cent refused the test and of those who accepted 7·6 per cent failed to attend. The cost of the campaign was about £2,280, or £2.71 for each of the 842 smears taken. Of the publicity measures used, posters appeared to be more effective than evening paper publicity or handbills.
Just over 70 per cent of the women in the target population had a cervical smear during the campaign or in the preceding three years. It is not possible from the available data to assess whether this coverage rate justifies the costs of the campaign.