In Japan, the cervical cancer screening rate is extremely low. Towards improving the cervical cancer screening rate, encouraging eligible people to make an informed choice, which is a decision-making process that relies on beliefs informed by adequate information about the possible benefits and risks of screening, has attracted increased attention in the public health domain. However, there is concern that providing information on possible risks of screening might prevent deter from participating.
In total, 1,912 women aged 20–39 years who had not participated in screening in the fiscal year were selected from a Japanese urban community setting. Participants were randomly divided into 3 groups. Group A received a printed reminder with information about the possible benefits of screening, group B received a printed reminder with information about possible benefits and risks, and group C received a printed reminder with simple information only (control group).
Out of 1,912 participants, 169 (8.8%) participated in cervical cancer screening. In the intervention groups, 137 (10.9%) participated in cervical cancer screening, compared to only 32 (4.9%) of the control group (p < 0.001). In addition, logistic regression analysis revealed that there was no significant difference in screening rate between group A and group B (p = 0.372).
Providing information on the possible risks of screening may not prevent people from taking part in cervical cancer screening among a Japanese non-adherent population.