"Various studies show that women consider HPV a sensitive topic because it is associated with sexual behaviour [34,35]. This was echoed in our study: practitioners observed that HPV infection is a sensitive topic for patients and gave this as a reason for not raising it in consultations. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The relationship between infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer is transforming cervical cancer prevention. HPV tests and vaccinations have recently become available. In Ireland, as elsewhere, primary care practitioners play a key role in prevention. ATHENS (A Trial of HPV Education and Support) aims to develop a theory-based intervention to support primary care practitioners in their HPV-related practice. This study, the first step in the intervention development process, aimed to: identify HPV-related clinical behaviours that the intervention will target; clarify general practitioners’ (GPs’) and practice nurses’ roles and responsibilities; and determine factors that potentially influence clinical behaviour. A secondary objective was to informally assess the utility of the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) in understanding clinical behaviours in an area with an evolving evidence-base.
In-depth semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with GPs and practice nurses. The topic guide, which contained open questions and HPV-related clinical scenarios, was developed through literature review and clinical experience. Interview transcripts were content-analysed using the TDF as the coding framework.
19 GPs and 14 practice nurses were interviewed. The major HPV-related clinical behaviours were: initiating a discussion about HPV infection with female patients; offering/recommending HPV vaccination to appropriate patients; and answering patients’ questions about HPV testing. While the responsibility for taking smears was considered a female role, both male and female practitioners dealt with HPV-related issues. All 12 theoretical domains arose in relation to HPV infection; the domains judged to be most important were: knowledge, emotion, social influences, beliefs about capabilities and beliefs about consequences. Eleven domains emerged in relation to HPV vaccination, with beliefs about consequences, social influences, knowledge and environmental context and resources judged to be the most important. Nine domains were relevant to HPV testing, with knowledge and beliefs about capabilities judged to be the most important.
The findings confirm the need for an intervention to support primary care practitioners around HPV and suggest it should target a range of theoretical domains. The TDF proved valuable in analysing qualitative data collected using a topic guide not specifically designed to capture TDF domains and understanding clinical behaviours in an area with an evolving evidence-base.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is now overwhelming evidence that high-risk, sexually transmitted types of human papillomavirus (HPV) are the main causal agent in cervical cancer. Biobehavioral and psychosocial research is uniquely capable of addressing many of the issues raised by HPV and its link with cervical cancer. In this article we review current findings in this area and identify issues for future research. The first of the three sections explores issues associated with the introduction of HPV testing for the detection and management of cervical abnormalities and the impact of growing public awareness of the sexually transmitted nature of cervical cancer. The implications for public understanding of cervical cancer, psychosocial issues associated with screening, and the potential impact on screening uptake are discussed. The second section addresses the role of biobehavioral factors in the persistence and progression of HPV infection as well as possible interventions to minimize the risk of persistence. Finally, primary prevention of HPV is discussed.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine 03/2004; 27(1):68-79. DOI:10.1207/s15324796abm2701_9 · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe the psychological impact on women of being tested for human papillomavirus (HPV) when smear test results are borderline or mildly dyskaryotic.
Cross sectional questionnaire study.
Two centres participating in an English pilot study of HPV testing in women with borderline or mildly dyskaryotic smear test results.
Women receiving borderline or mildly dyskaryotic smear test results tested for HPV and found to be HPV positive (n = 536) or HPV negative (n = 331); and women not tested for HPV with borderline or mildly dyskaryotic smear results (n = 143) or normal smear results (n = 366).
State anxiety, distress, and concern about test result, assessed within four weeks of receipt of results.
Women with borderline or mildly dyskaryotic smear results who were HPV positive were more anxious, distressed, and concerned than the other three groups. Three variables independently predicted anxiety in HPV positive women: younger age (beta = -0.11, P = 0.03), higher perceived risk of cervical cancer (beta = 0.17, P < 0.001), and reporting that they did not understand the meaning of test results (beta = 0.17, P = 0.001). Testing HPV negative was not reassuring: among women with abnormal smear test results, those who were HPV negative were no less anxious than those who were not tested for HPV.
Informing women more effectively about the meaning of borderline or mildly dyskaryotic smear test results and HPV status, in particular about the absolute risks of cervical cancer and the prevalence of HPV infection, may avoid some anxiety for those who are HPV positive while achieving some reassurance for those who test HPV negative.
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