Kola, Susanna and Walsh, Jane C. (2008) Patients’ Reactions to Further Evaluation of Abnormal Cytological Smear Tests. In: 39th Annual Conference of the Psychological Society of Ireland, 20th – 23rd November 2008, Tullow, Co. Carlow. (Unpublished)

Objective: With the anticipated rollout of the national cervical cancer-screening programme, the study aimed to describe psychological reactions to colposcopy, and assess patient perceptions of possible interventions.
Methods: A retrospective postal questionnaire was sent to 200 women (aged 20-60) registered with the Colposcopy Clinic, University Hospital Galway. Results: The response rate was 76%. Respondents reported high levels of anxiety and worry prior to colposcopy. Those that feared cancer had higher anxiety levels than those not fearing cancer, t = 6.81, df = 149, p < .001. Higher levels of pain were reported by anxious patients than by non-anxious patients, Chi2 (2) = 7.78, p =.020.
Conclusions: Women react adversely to colposcopy, and increased anxiety affect the experience of colposcopic examination, with higher levels of pain, discomfort, and embarrassment.

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