This Week In The Bmj

Women with abnormal smear results need better information

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 10 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:e

An abnormal cervical smear result can cause fears about cancer, problems with sexual relationships, changes in body image, and concerns about the loss of reproductive functions. In Australia, Kavanagh and Broom interviewed 29 women who had cervical abnormalities (p 1388). Women assumed their problem was serious because they thought cervical smears detected only cancerous cells. In rushed consultations with gynaecologists, many women did not receive the information they needed to understand their condition and treatment. Precolposcopy clinics for several women at once might provide women with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss their concerns without placing the burden on doctors to provide more information in the consultation.

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