Objective: This paper describes the pilot of an interactive voice response (IVR) cervical screening brief advice interface. Method. In September 2000, 5,000 households within Cessnock, New South Wales, were contacted by an IVR system. The system randomly selected eligible women aged 18-69, assessed their cervical screening status and provided a tailored message about cervical screening. A computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) evaluated intervention acceptability. Participation rates, participant demographics, IVR use by women, and IVR costs were also examined. Results: 549 (12%) women listened to the IVR call and 587 (59%) completed the CATI interview. IVR listeners under-represented younger and older women, and overrepresented women who were married, and of Aboriginal descent. The majority of women (98%) found IVR easy to answer and 90% agreed IVR reminders were a good idea. Unscreened and older women used the system more than screened or younger women. Conclusions: The IVR call was successfully used by a large number of women to obtain information on cervical cancer screening, with higher use by recognised risk groups. Implications: These results suggest that an IVR reminder might be useful to increase cervical screening rates since those most at risk also used IVR the most. The potential for linking IVR to a database to issue reminders in the same manner as Pap Test Register postal reminders needs to be explored.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health Vol. 29, no. 3, p. 261-264