Research Repository

Appraisal theory and emotional sequelae of first visit to colposcopy following an abnormal cervical screening result

Orbell, Sheina and Hagger, Martin and Brown, Val and Tidy, John (2004) 'Appraisal theory and emotional sequelae of first visit to colposcopy following an abnormal cervical screening result.' British Journal of Health Psychology, 9 (4). pp. 533-555. ISSN 1359-107X

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Objectives. Attendance at colposcopy following an abnormal cervical smear is potentially a highly distressing event. This study evaluates the role of cognitive appraisal components (Lazarus, 1991; Smith et al., 1993) in explaining emotional reactions to this event. We also compare the psychological sequelae of immediate treatment at first colposcopy (See and Treat, ST) vs. colposcopy with treatment deferred to a later date (Diagnose and Defer, DD). Method. One thousand and eighty-five women referred for colposcopy completed a questionnaire assessing appraisal and emotion following their attendance. Clinical data were abstracted from medical records and social deprivation scores were estimated from postal code information based on normative data. Results. Diagnosis and cognitive appraisals were each significantly associated with emotion, together accounting for between 3 and 15% of variance in different emotions. Specific patterns of appraisal explained specific emotions in line with theoretical predictions. Women with Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) 2 or CIN 3 undergoing 'ST' were less anxious, less embarrassed and significantly more relieved compared with a matched sample of women undergoing 'DT', and perceived their first appointment as more motivationally congruent. Conclusion. Diagnosis, motivationally incongruent experiences and low emotion-focused coping potential are the most important determinants of anxiety after colposcopy. 'See and Treat' appears to have a positive psychological impact by increasing motivational congruence.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Colposcopy; Attitude to Health; Affect; Cognition; Psychological Theory; Time Factors; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Middle Aged; Office Visits; Uterine Cervical Neoplasms; Female; Surveys and Questionnaires
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2015 16:18
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:29

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