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Int J STD AIDS. 2001 Oct;12(10):651-8.

A prospective study of the psychological impact on patients of first diagnosis of human papillomavirus.

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Clinical Research Laboratory, Psychology Department, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.


This study assessed the psychological impact of the first time diagnosis of human papillomavirus (HPV) in consecutive clients attending the Hamilton Sexual Health Clinic, and sought to determine whether this changed over time. Clients with a diagnosis other than HPV and those found to have no diagnosis were compared with HPV clients. All participants completed a battery of questionnaires following their initial visit and again at 4 weeks. The battery consisted of the General Health Questionnaire, Illness Attitude Scales, the International Index of Erectile Function or the Brief Index of Sexual Function for Women, and a 6-question test of the client's knowledge of HPV. One hundred and one participants completed the first questionnaires and 47 of those completed follow-up questionnaires. We found those diagnosed with first episode of HPV had considerable psychological difficulties. However these were no different to those associated with other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or even those with no active diagnosis.

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