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To evaluate whether the information leaflets produced by UK colposcopy clinics provide women with the information they desire and to determine when they would like to receive this information. Questionnaire study and structured evaluation. The colposcopy clinic of a UK cancer centre. Forty-two women attending a pre-colposcopy counselling session and 100 consecutive women attending the colposcopy clinic. Thirty-eight standards derived from the concerns/questions asked by women attending a pre-colposcopy counselling session were used to assess locally produced colposcopy clinic leaflets from UK colposcopy clinics, the leaflets produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP), and two "leaflets" obtained from internet sites. The Gunning fog test was used to assess the leaflets' readability. A questionnaire survey of 100 women attending the colposcopy clinic was used to determine when women wanted to receive information about colposcopy. Percentage of questions answered by a given leaflet and Gunning fog scores for readability. The information leaflets of 128 colposcopy clinics were received and assessed. Thirty-two clinics only sent women the NHSCSP leaflet. No leaflet answered all 38 questions. Less than half (36/100) of the leaflets answered more than 50% of the questions. In addition to the lack of advice given, different leaflets frequently gave conflicting advice. The average Gunning fog score was 9.7 (range 5.5-15.5). The majority of women (70%) wanted to receive information about colposcopy at or prior to the time of receiving their abnormal smear test result, although only 42% of women actually received information at this time. Many UK colposcopy clinics do not appear to be providing women with the information they require to understand their condition and the procedure that they are about to undergo. Furthermore, this information is often not provided at the appropriate time in the screening process.


J Byrom, P D J Dunn, G M Hughes, J Lockett, A Johnson, J Neale, C W E Redman. Colposcopy information leaflets: what women want to know and when they want to receive this information. Journal of medical screening. 2003;10(3):143-7

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PMID: 14561267

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