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Title: Anxiety associated with a low-grade abnormal cervical smear result : short and medium term psychological and psychosocial sequelae
Author: Gray, Nicola M.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3513 4226
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2008
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Objective: to determine whether receipt of a low-grade abnormal cervical smear resulted in elevated anxiety, and to assess whether this anxiety was persistent over the medium term (12 months). Design: Longitudinal survey.  Setting: UK Cervical Screening Programmes in Nottingham, England, and Grampian and Tayside, Scotland. Participants: 3,053 women recruited to TOMBOLA (Trial of Management of Borderline and Other Low-grade Abnormal smears). Main Outcome Measures: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Process Outcome Specific Measure (POSM), Multi-dimensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLCS) and visual analogue scale of the EQ-5D.  Socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics were also recorded. Results: A substantial proportion (43%) of women in receipt of a low-grade cervical smear result have elevated levels of anxiety.  At 12 months, younger women, women who were divorced/separated or widowed, and women who had had children were most likely to be classed as anxious.  The best predictor of anxiety at 12 months was baseline anxiety level following the abnormal cervical smear result.  Whilst most women did not have elevated levels of anxiety 12 months after receipt of their smear result, almost a third (31%) of women had persistent or worsened anxiety at this time. Conclusions: For a substantial number of women, receipt of a low-grade abnormal cervical smear result will engender levels of anxiety, and this anxiety will be long lasting. Women at highest risk of anxiety were younger, had had children, and were current smokers.  Interventions that focus on increasing women’s understanding of the purpose of cervical screening and smear results, and which directly address women’s individual concerns, particularly their fear of having cervical cancer, may help moderate high levels of anxiety experienced following receipt of an abnormal smear.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available