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Mandatory Fields
O'Connor, M;O'Brien, K;Waller, J;Gallagher, P;D'Arcy, T;Flannelly, G;Martin, CM;Mcrae, J;Prendiville, W;Ruttle, C;White, C;Pilkington, L;O'Leary, JJ;Sharp, L
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Physical after-effects of colposcopy and related procedures, and their inter-relationship with psychological distress: a longitudinal survey
2 ()
Optional Fields
Objective To estimate prevalence of post-colposcopy physical after-effects and investigate associations between these and subsequent psychological distress. Design Longitudinal survey. Setting Two hospital-based colposcopy clinics. Population Women with abnormal cytology who underwent colposcopy (+/- related procedures). Methods Questionnaires were mailed to women 4, 8 and 12 months post-colposcopy. Details of physical after-effects (pain, bleeding and discharge) experienced post-colposcopy were collected at 4 months. Colposcopy-specific distress was measured using the Process Outcome-Specific Measure at all time-points. Linear mixed-effects regression was used to identify associations between physical after-effects and distress over 12 months, adjusting for socio-demographic and clinical variables. Main outcome measures Prevalence of post-colposcopy physical after-effects. Associations between the presence of any physical after-effects, awareness of after-effects, and number of after-effects and distress. Results Five-hundred and eighty-four women were recruited (response rate = 73, 59 and 52% at 4, 8 and 12 months, respectively). Eighty-two percent of women reported one or more physical after-effect(s). Multiple physical after-effects were common (two after-effects = 25%; three after-effects = 25%). Psychological distress scores declined significantly over time. In adjusted analyses, women who experienced all three physical after-effects had on average a 4.58 (95% CI: 1.10-8.05) higher distress scored than those who experienced no after-effects. Women who were unaware of the possibility of experiencing after-effects scored significantly higher for distress during follow-up. Conclusions The prevalence of physical after-effects of colposcopy and related procedures is high. The novel findings of interrelationships between awareness of the possibility of after-effects and experiencing multiple after-effects, and post-colposcopy distress may be relevant to the development of interventions to alleviate post-colposcopy distress.
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