Technical notes

Geography

Participation rates in the NBCSP, BreastScreen Australia and the NCSP are presented for the following geographies:

  • Primary Health Network (PHN) areas: 31 areas covering Australia, defined by the Department of Health (Department of Health 2018).
  • Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3s): 333 areas covering Australia
  • Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2s): 2,196 areas covering Australia.

Both SA3s and SA2 are defined by the ABS within the Australian Statistical Geography Standard, and the 2011 ASGS is used for this report.

For NBCSP invitees, geographic areas (PHN areas, SA3s and SA2s) were based on area of usual residence, and were assigned using SA1 correspondences. Those invitees without reliable SA1 details were mapped using postcode correspondences to the geography of interest instead. As some postcodes cross the boundaries of PHNs, SA3s or SA2s the use of postcode correspondences may lead to some minor inaccuracies in results.

Where SA1 codes and postcodes could not be attributed to a PHN, SA3 or SA2 these invitees were included in an 'Unknown' group in the data tables, and are excluded from data visualisations.

For BreastScreen Australia and NCSP data, PHN areas and SA3s were based on area of usual residence and were assigned using postcode to PHN and postcode to SA3 correspondences. Where postcodes could not be attributed to a PHN these women were excluded from the analysis. They are not displayed in data tables. This is most noticeable in the Northern Territory, but affects all states and territories to some degree. Note that NCSP postcodes are used for mailing purposes and may not reflect where a woman resides.

For analyses for all three cancer screening programs, where a postcode or SA1 boundary overlapped PHN areas, SA3 or SA2 boundaries, the relevant records were attributed based on the percentage of the population within that postcode or SA1 that fell within the PHN area SA3, or SA2.

Correspondence files for PHN were sourced from the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) 2011: Volume 3 - Non ABS Structures (ABS cat.no. 1270.0.55.003) and classified according to the PHN 2015 structure. Please note that the time period of some PHN data presented is prior to the initiation of PHNs, which were in established in June 2015. For further details on PHNs see the Department of Health’s website.

Correspondence files for SA3s and SA2s were sourced from Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) 2011: Volume 1

The number of people in different geographic areas (PHNs, SA3s or SA2s) may not sum to 'Australia' total due to rounding.

SA3s and SA2s with a numerator less than 20 or a denominator less than 100 have been suppressed.

For a full list of AIHW products that include data and results by small areas (for example, by Primary Health Network areas) visit AIHW data by geography.

References

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2011. Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1— Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas. ABS cat. No. 1270.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.
  • ABS 2011. Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 3— non ABS Structures. ABS cat. No. 1270.0.55.003. Canberra: ABS.
  • Department of Health 2018. Primary Health Networks (PHNs). Canberra: Department of Health. Viewed 17 December 2018.

State or Territory

For the NBCSP, state or territory reported refers to the state or territory of residence. For BreastScreen Australia and the NCSP, state or territory reported refers to the state or territory in which screening occurred, not the state or territory of residence.

For BreastScreen Australia and the NCSP, participation data by state or territory, age group and year are based on the latest available data (final and revised) whereas participation data by PHN and SA3 are based on previously published figures.

NBCSP

Two-yearly screening for those aged 50–74 is not fully rolled out. During the time period reported, the specific ages invited within the 50–74 age range included 50, 54, 55, 58, 60, 64, 65, 68, 70, 72 and 74. Those who either opted off or suspended from the program without completing a screening test are excluded.

NBCSP data included in this report covers the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2017.

BreastScreen Australia

Participation rates were calculated using the average of ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for females aged 50–74 within the relevant geographical area (PHN, SA3) for the relevant 2-year reporting period.

BreastScreen Australia changed its target age group from 50–69 years to 50–74 years from July 2013; participation is reported for both the previous and current target age groups to allow comparison of trends with previously reported data. BreastScreen Australia data included in this report covers the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2016.

NCSP

Participation rates were calculated using the average of ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for females aged 20–69 for the relevant 2-year reporting period adjusted for the estimated proportion of women who have had a hysterectomy.

Some duplication may occur where the same test is reported to the cervical screening register in two or more jurisdictions. This may lead to erroneous results when focusing on smaller geographical areas. This may affect border areas more than others.

While the new NCSP commenced in December 2017 for women aged 25–74, data presented in this report are for women screened under the previous program, so use the target age group of 20–69 appropriate to that program. NCSP data included in this report covers the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2016.

Data sources

AIHW analysis of National Bowel Cancer Screening Program register data, state and territory BreastScreen Australia register data and state and territory cervical screening register data.