PurposeCurrent cervical cancer screening guidelines recommend 3-year screening intervals, in contrast to the previous recommendation of annual screening, to prevent over screening and overtreatment. We evaluated the impact of viewing a tablet-based educational tool prior to seeing a clinician on young women's knowledge and understanding of cervical cancer screening, HPV vaccination follow-up of abnormal pap smears, and comfort in communicating with their providers.MethodsThis cross-sectional study was part of a cluster-randomized study of fourteen primary care clinics from January 2015 to December 2016. We developed the cervical cancer education tool in English and Spanish using a community-based approach that included formative work and cognitive interviewing. Clinics were randomized to use the intervention (tablet-based patient education tool) or to participate as a control group. We administered surveys to a convenience sample of 229 English- or Spanish-speaking women aged 19 to 35 years in these clinics. We used descriptive analyses and logistic regression models with cluster-robust standard errors to compare differences among the two groups.ResultsCompared to women seen in control clinics, women seen in intervention clinics demonstrated greater knowledge regarding human papilloma virus (HPV (p = 0.004) and understanding (p < 0.001) of cervical cancer screening. Comfort in communicating with providers was not statistically different (p = 0.053). Women in the intervention group felt that the tool helped them understand that an abnormal Pap smear does not require immediate treatment (61.5%).ConclusionInnovative online patient education that is offered prior to patients' interaction with their clinicians can improve their knowledge about cervical cancer prevention and treatment.