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The INCLUDE Study: Cervical cancer prevention for all

The challenge

The INCLUDE study aims to address the need for more effective cervical cancer prevention services in primary care for disadvantaged populations. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is sexually transmitted and is the primary cause of virtually all cases of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer prevention is a priority health area in Australia, with several population groups disproportionately affected by cervical cancer with higher rates of incidence and mortality.

The project

Our project will fast-track the elimination of cervical cancer in Australia by identifying and addressing persistent barriers to access to proven cervical cancer prevention services in primary health care. The two vital primary health care services are HPV vaccination and cervical screening.

Five population groups with unacceptably high rates of cervical cancer are our focus – people with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with socioeconomic disadvantage, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people living in remote areas.

Our project will create a novel health equity digital navigation tool to generate and share this data on local populations that can be immediately actioned by primary health care providers, consumers, and other end users across Australia. Through coproduction with end users, we'll translate findings into tailored clinical strategies, educational resources, social media, policies, guidelines, and primary care workforce capacity building activities to support equitable primary care access.

The method

We will use existing datasets and the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP), a new national whole-of-population, person-level longitudinal enduring linked data resource combining information on health, vaccination, sociodemographic, education, disability, taxation, and social service payments.

For each priority group we will:  

  1. calculate the coverage of HPV vaccination and cervical screening
  2. evaluate the primary care clinical practices required to maximise uptake of prevention services, and
  3. calculate national rates of cervical disease.

Our implementation strategy includes documenting end-user contexts, requirements, and perspectives at multiple time points throughout the project via interviews, roundtables, yarning, workshops, and online forums.

The results

Links to results will be posted here as soon as they are available.

The impact

Cervical cancer is preventable. Reliable, granular population-level data on the rates of cervical disease, coverage of proven cervical cancer prevention services, and clinical practices are required to inform targeted, community-developed, culturally safe interventions that will help eliminate cervical cancer equitably in Australia.

Project collaborators

University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, Australian National University, Flinders University, University of Newcastle, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, University of Tasmania, University of Queensland, Primary Care Collaborative Clinical Trials Group (PC4), Victorian Primary care practice-based Research and Education Network (VicREN PBRN), Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA), Family Planning Australia, Cancer Council Australia, Australian College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP), Wellbeing Health and Youth CRE (WH&Y).


INCLUDE Study - collaborator logos


Project funding

NHMRC 2021 MRFF Primary Health Care Digital Innovations