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Testing positive for human papillomavirus in routine cervical screening: examination of psychosocial impact

McCaffery, K; Waller, J; Forrest, S; Cadman, L; Szarewski, A; Wardle, J; (2004) Testing positive for human papillomavirus in routine cervical screening: examination of psychosocial impact. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology , 111 (12) 1437 -1443. 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2004.00279.x. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective To examine the psychosocial impact of testing positive for high risk human papillomavirus (HPV) among women attending primary cervical screening.Design Cross sectional survey.Measures were taken at baseline and one week after the receipt of HPV and cytology screening results.Setting Well women's clinic in London, UK.Population or Sample Four hundred and twenty-eight women aged 20-64 years.Methods Postal questionnaire survey.Main outcome measures Psychosocial and psychosexual outcomes were anxiety, distress and feelings about current, past and future sexual relationships.Results Women with normal cytology who tested positive for HPV (HPVdivided by) were significantly more anxious and distressed than women who were negative (HPV-) using both a state anxiety measure [F(1,267)=29, P<0.0001] and a screening specific measure of psychological distress [F(1,267)=69, P<0.0001]. Women with an abnormal or unsatisfactory smear result, who tested HPV,. were significantly more distressed than HPV- women with the same smear result [F(1,267)=8.8, P=0.002], but there was no significant difference in state anxiety. Irrespective of cytology result, HPV women reported feeling significantly worse about their sexual relationships. Approximately one-third of women who tested positive reported feeling worse about past and future sexual relationships compared with less than 2% of HPV- women.Conclusion The findings suggest that testing positive for HPV may have an adverse psychosocial impact, with increased anxiety., distress and concern about sexual relationships. Psychosocial outcomes of HPV testing need further investigation and must be considered alongside clinical and economic decisions to include HPV testing in routine cervical screening.

Type: Article
Title: Testing positive for human papillomavirus in routine cervical screening: examination of psychosocial impact
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2004.00279.x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2004.00279.x
Language: English
Additional information: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article:McCaffery, K; Waller, J; Forrest, S; Cadman, L; Szarewski, A; Wardle, J; (2004) Testing positive for human papillomavirus in routine cervical screening: examination of psychosocial impact. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology , 111 (12) 1437 - 1443., which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2004.00279.x.
Keywords: Young-women, Natural-history, Cancer, HPV, Infections, Trial, Population, Colposcopy, Management, Health
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471
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