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Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1999 Jun;106(6):528-34.

Is the provision of information leaflets before colposcopy beneficial? A prospective randomised study.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, North Staffordshire NHS Hospital Trust and Keele University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.



To assess the usefulness of a leaflet distributed to women before colposcopy designed to reduce their anxiety and psychosexual morbidity by providing information.


Prospective randomised study.


Colposcopy clinic of a large district general hospital.


Two hundred consecutive women undergoing colposcopy for the first time for a cervical cytological abnormality of severity no greater than moderate dyskaryosis.


Women were randomised into one of two groups (leaflet or control). Those in the leaflet group were sent an information leaflet prior to attending the clinic. In the colposcopy clinic all the women completed a State/Trait Anxiety Inventory (StAI/TrAI) and a modified psychosexual questionnaire before undergoing colposcopy. This was repeated at the six-month follow up visit. Women in the leaflet group also completed a further questionnaire on the leaflet.


Differences of anxiety and psychosexual scores between leaflet and control groups.


The leaflet was well received. There were no statistical differences in StAI and TrAI scores between the study group and the control group at either visit, although in the whole study population StAI and TrAI scores were reduced at the second visit. The leaflet group had significantly more psychosexual problems but by the second visit, the scores had improved and the two groups were similar. When the mean differences in anxiety and psychosexual scores at the initial and second visits were compared between the groups, the reduction in negative sexual feelings and deterioration of TrAI scores experienced by the leaflet group was significant.


This study suggests that the provision of sending an information leaflet prior to colposcopy is not beneficial in isolation. Other approaches need to be considered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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