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Exploring women's sensory experiences of undergoing colposcopy and related procedures: implications for preparatory sensory information provision

O'Connor, M; Waller, J; Gallagher, P; Martin, CM; JO'Leary, J; D'Arcy, T; Prendiville, W; ... Sharp, L; + view all (2016) Exploring women's sensory experiences of undergoing colposcopy and related procedures: implications for preparatory sensory information provision. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology pp. 1-10. 10.1080/0167482X.2016.1197905. Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Some women experience distress during colposcopy examinations which is partly related to women's fear, or experience, of pain during the procedure. However, little is known about women's sensory experiences of colposcopy (other than pain) or what might impact on these experiences. The aim of this study was to explore women's sensory experiences of colposcopy and related procedures and identify factors which influenced negative sensory experiences. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with 23 women who had undergone, for the first time, a colposcopy (some with related procedures, including punch biopsies and loop excision) as part of follow-up for abnormal cervical cytology. Interviews were analysed thematically using the Framework Approach to organise the data and identify emerging higher-order themes. RESULTS: Women described a range of sensory experiences including pain or discomfort, cramping, stinging and cold sensations (due to the application of acetic acid to the cervix). Four key themes emerged as important aspects of the overall sensory experience: levels of pain, treatment-specific sensations, anaesthetic-specific sensations and solution-specific sensations. Factors that may influence women having a negative sensory experience were sensory expectations of the procedure(s) and lack of preparatory sensory information. DISCUSSION: Our study provides unique in-depth insight into women's sensory experiences of colposcopy and related procedures and suggests women require more preparatory sensory information. The issues identified as contributing to women having a negative sensory experience may help inform the development of pre-colposcopy information which may better prepare women with abnormal cervical cytology for follow-up examinations.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring women's sensory experiences of undergoing colposcopy and related procedures: implications for preparatory sensory information provision
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/0167482X.2016.1197905
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0167482X.2016.1197905
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Abnormal cervical cytology, colposcopy, preparatory information, sensory experiences
UCL classification: UCL
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 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1496028
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