The aim of this study was to compare estimates of Pap smear screening and mammogram obtained from household survey and a telephone survey in São Paulo/Brazil in the year 2008, according to sociodemographic characteristics, and to dimension the observed differences from those estimates. The study used data from the ISA-Capital 2008 Survey, conducted in São Paulo city, by Faculty of Public Health of the University of São Paulo with support from the Municipal Health Department, and VIGITEL (São Paulo), a telephone survey conducted by the Brazilian Ministry of Health towards Surveillance of Risk and Protection Factors for Chronic non-transmittable Diseases. Estimates of Pap smear and mammogram in women, as well as its realisation in the year prior to the interview were compared according to type of survey (household/telephone) by Poisson regression adjusted for age and education. There were no statistically significant differences between the estimates obtained by VIGITEL and ISA-Capital for the prevalence of mammogram in the year prior to the interview. However, estimates for the global estimates of the Pap smear at least once in life and in the last year and mammogram at least once in life, there has been observed statistically significant differences, with higher prevalence among those interviewed by telephone. It shows a tendency to overestimate the prevalence of mammography and Pap smear in the telephone survey data indicating a necessity for new studies that also contribute to a better understanding of the differences observed using different types of surveys.
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