The Short-Term Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic on Cervical Cancer Screening: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Document Type : Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


1 Independent Researcher, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal.

2 Department of Biostatistics, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, India.


Objective: A systematic review and meta-analysis were carried out to assess the pooled proportion of women screened for cervical cancer before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: After ruling out registered or ongoing systematic reviews in the PROSPERO database regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in cervical cancer screening, the protocol of our systematic review and meta-analysis was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021279305). The electronic databases were searched for articles published in English between January 2020 and October 2021and the study was designed based on PRISMA guidelines updated in 2020. Meta-analysis was accomplished in STATA version 13.0 (College Station, Texas 77,845 USA). The pooled proportion of women who had undergone cervical cancer screening was reported with 95% CI. In order to quantify the heterogeneity, Chi2 statistic (Q statistic) and I2 index were used. Results: The meta-analysis included seven studies from Slovenia, Italy, Ontario (Canada), Scotland, Belgium, and the USA, comprising 403,986 women and 199,165 women who were screened for cervical cancer before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 and during the pandemic in 2020, respectively. The pooled proportion of women screened for cervical cancer in 2019 was 9.79% (95% CI 6.00%-13.59%, 95% prediction interval 0.42%-23.81%). During the pandemic, the pooled proportion of screened women declined to 4.24% (95% CI 2.77%-5.71%, 95% prediction interval 0.9%-17.49%). Conclusion: There was a substantial drop in the cervical cancer screening rate due to lockdowns and travel restrictions to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Scaling up cervical cancer screening strategies is essential to prevent the long-term impact of cervical cancer burden. 


Main Subjects

Volume 23, Issue 5
May 2022
Pages 1497-1504
  • Receive Date: 19 January 2022
  • Revise Date: 04 April 2022
  • Accept Date: 20 May 2022
  • First Publish Date: 20 May 2022