This study will assess the effectiveness of the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) for Indigenous women compared with other Australian women, and investigate trends in cervical cancer incidence and survival for Indigenous women. This study is using national de-identified linked data from the Pap Test Registers (PTRs), Cancer Registers and hospital inpatient datasets in each state and territory.


Data has been received from QLD, WA, and VIC and the NT, and additional data has been requested from QLD and WA. Data linkage is currently underway for NSW and the data approval process is well advanced for SA. Data from these two states is expected before the end of the year. As the required data is not available for Tasmania and the ACT, these two states will no longer be included in the study.

Lisa Whop, PhD student, commenced analysis of participation in cervical screening, prevalence of abnormalities and  time to follow-up after a diagnosis of abnormality by Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in Queensland. Related manuscripts are in preparation. Abbey Diaz, PhD student, has commenced analysis of the effect of chronic disease comorbidities on screening participation and is waiting on additional WA data before proceeding further. Analysis of the national dataset will commence after September 2015.

Presentations of data linkage methods have been presented at a number of national and international conferences. A manuscript describing the study methods and the data linkage process has been submitted for publication and is under review.

Project manager:
Contact information:
Project dates:

The project is scheduled to run from 2012 - 2016.

  • Cancer Council QLD
  • Cancer Council NSW
  • University of Queensland 
  • National Health
  • Medical Research Council
  • Cancer Council NSW
Key staff:

Chief investigators:

Associate investigators:

  • Associate Professor Dorota Gertig

PhD candidates:

  • Ms Lisa Whop
  • Ms Abbey Diaz

Project managers:

  • Suzanne Moore
  • Tegan Harris
  • Robyn Liddle


  1. Whop, L.J., Cunningham, J., & Condon, J.R. (2014). How well is the National Cervical Screening Program performing for Indigenous Australian women? Why we don’t really know, and what we can and should do about it. European Journal of Cancer Care, 23(6), 716-720.