Project 1: Cervical screening

Work by Jane Williams, supervised by Stacy Carter and Lucie Rychetnik

Jane conducted a systematic review of the literature on the organisation of cervical screening, a comprehensive analysis of marketing materials from cervical screening programs, and an analyses of in-depth interviews with experts and key stakeholders from Australia and other countries.

Research questions:

  1. What has it meant to ‘organise’ cervical cancer screening internationally? Is there a place for opportunistic screening in an organised program?
  2. Is the information provided in Australian promotional materials sufficient to support women’s consent to screen?
  3. How has cervical screening come to be organised in particular ways in different jurisdictions?
  4. How do experts talk about what makes a good cervical screening program?
  5. How are issues of individual consent and social justice considered by cervical screening experts when they’re considering population programs?
  6. What are the ethical implications for cervical screening in future?


Williams JH, Carter SM, Rychetnik L. ‘Organised’ cervical screening 45 years on: How consistent are organised screening practices? European Journal of Cancer. 2014;50(17): 3029–3038. Epub 2014/10/02.

Williams JH, Carter SM, Rychetnik L. Information provision in cervical screening in AustraliaThe Medical Journal of Australia. 2014;201(5):295-7. Epub 2014/08/29.

Williams JH, Carter SM. An empirical study of the ‘underscreened’ in organised cervical screening: experts focus on increasing opportunity as a way of reducing differences in screening rates. BMC Medical Ethics. 2016;17(1):1-12.

Williams J, Carter S, Rychetnik L. Contested Guideline Development in Australia’s Cervical Screening Program: Values Drive Different Views of the Purpose and Implementation of Organized Screening. Public Health Ethics. 2017;10(1):5-18.

Dr Williams’ thesis:

Williams J. An empirical ethics analysis of cervical screening organisation. Sydney: The University of Sydney; 2016.

Jane can be contacted on jane [dot] h [dot] williams [at] sydney [dot] edu [dot] au

More about Jane here

More about Stacy here

More about Lucie here