Physician attitudes toward the Bethesda System of reporting cervical cytology.

Daron Gale Ferris, M. D. Miller, P. Wagner, E. Walaitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this investigation was to determine family physicians' and gynecologists' attitudes toward and understanding of the Bethesda System, a new cervical cytology classification and reporting system. METHODS: A convenience sample of 159 family physicians and gynecologists completed a questionnaire that assessed attitudes, knowledge, and opinions about the Bethesda System. RESULTS: Compared with family physicians, gynecologists thought the Bethesda System was more likely to cause patient management problems (p < 0.001) and preferred not to combine viral cytologic effects with mild dysplasia when reporting a low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (p < 0.004). However, increased understanding of the system by physicians correlated with greater preference for the Bethesda System (p < 0.02). In this exploratory study, family physicians, rather than gynecologists, were more inclined to use the Bethesda System and perceived it as a means to reduce clinical evaluation and patient management problems. Gynecologists reported a fuller understanding of the Bethesda System, yet they were more critical of the cytology categorizations. Within each specialty, greater understanding of the Bethesda System led to its wider acceptance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalThe Family practice research journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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