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Review: Colposcopy Linked to Adverse Psychological Outcomes

Adverse outcomes include anxiety; management type and treatment don't impact outcomes

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For women with abnormal cervical cytology, colposcopy and related procedures are associated with adverse psychological outcomes, especially anxiety, according to a systematic review published online June 22 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Mairead O'Connor, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Registry in Cork, Ireland, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine adverse psychological outcomes following colposcopy and related procedures, and predictors of these outcomes. Data were included from 23 papers reporting 16 studies, which were methodologically heterogeneous.

The researchers identified adverse psychological outcomes following colposcopy and related procedures, especially anxiety. In 10 studies that examined predictors of adverse psychological outcomes, no effect was observed for management type and treatment. Temporal trends in psychological outcomes were examined in seven studies; mixed findings were seen, especially with respect to anxiety and distress.

"Follow-up investigations and procedures for abnormal cervical cytology can cause adverse psychological outcomes among women," the authors write. "There is a need for a more standardized approach to the examination of the psychological impact of colposcopy, especially longer-term outcomes."

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