Paper in Psycho-Oncology
  • Ilona Juraskova, Phyllis Butow, Louise Sharpe and Michael Campion (2007). "What does it mean?" Uncertainty, trust and communication following treatment for pre-cancerous cervical abnormalities. Psycho-Oncology, 16: 525-533.

    The early detection of pre-cancerous cervical conditions has risen dramatically, prompting more in-depth investigations regarding psychological implications inherent within the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. This study aimed to identify factors that influence women's experience of diagnosis and treatment of cervical abnormalities and factors that facilitate positive adjustment. Using a semi-structured telephone interview, we interviewed 21 women (age 24-54) treated at a colposcopy clinic. Systematic recruitment of women with varying degrees of cervical abnormality (CIN 1-3) and time since treatment was undertaken to ensure representation of all relevant experiences and allow the identification of long-term factors. Coding of audio-taped, transcribed interviews and searching for themes was achieved by using NUD*IST software. The results identified uncertainty, trust and communication as the key factors for women following diagnosis and treatment. The primary concern following diagnosis was related to cancer but changed to a more prominent concern with future reproductive issues in the post-treatment period. The majority of women acknowledged the importance of the doctor's empathic communication style. These findings have important implications for future studies and clinical practice.