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The psychosexual impact of testing positive for high-risk cervical human papillomavirus

Bennett, Kirsty; (2021) The psychosexual impact of testing positive for high-risk cervical human papillomavirus. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Human papillomavirus (HPV)-based cervical screening has replaced cytology-based cervical screening in England. Due to its sexually transmitted nature, testing HPV positive may have psychosexual implications. The work presented in this thesis explored the psychosexual impact of testing positive for high-risk cervical HPV. Three studies were carried out (2017-2021). Study 1 synthesised the existing quantitative and qualitative literature on (a) the psychosexual impact of testing HPV positive (n=25 studies) and (b) concerns about disclosing HPV to a sexual partner (n=13 studies). Study 2 assessed psychosexual distress following routine HPV primary screening among women receiving different HPV and cytology results at three time points over a year (n=1133). Study 3 qualitatively explored the psychosexual impact and disclosure experiences of women who had tested HPV positive in the context of HPV-based cervical screening (n=21). In Study 1a, the psychosexual impact of testing HPV positive from the existing quantitative literature was mixed. The qualitative literature highlighted concerns including transmitting HPV to a partner and where the infection came from. In Study 1b, women were concerned about disclosing HPV to a sexual partner, partly due to the stigma of having a sexually transmitted infection and how a partner might respond. Study 2 showed that receiving an HPV positive result caused elevated psychosexual distress shortly after women received their screening result, but this declined over time. In Study 3, the extent of psychosexual impact among women testing HPV positive was influenced by how they conceptualised HPV, knowledge of HPV, concerns about transmitting HPV and having a persistent HPV infection. Testing HPV positive in the context of HPV-based cervical screening can have a psychosexual impact. Providing clear and consistent information in screening materials and results letters may help to minimise the psychosexual consequences of testing HPV positive.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The psychosexual impact of testing positive for high-risk cervical human papillomavirus
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
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 Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133541
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