GATESHEAD, England -- Playing soothing music during a colposcopy or allowing the patient to view the procedure on a television monitor were effective anxiety-reducing interventions, according to a review of 11 clinical trials.
GATESHEAD, England, July 20 -- Playing soothing music during a colposcopy or allowing the patient to view the procedure on a television monitor were effective anxiety-reducing interventions, according to a review of 11 clinical trials.
Women who watched the colposcopy on a monitor during the procedure reported significantly less anxiety (P<0.0002) than women who weren't offered that option, wrote Khadra Galaal, M.B.Ch.B., M.P.H., of the Northern Gynecological Center here, and colleagues in a review published in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, Issue 3.
When they compared four other interventions investigated in clinical trials-music during the procedure, pre-procedure counseling, informational leaflets, and informational videos, they found that music was the single most effective anti-anxiety approach (P<0.002).
Combining information leaflets with informational videos also reduced anxiety levels compared with use of information leaflets alone (P<0.00001), they wrote.
Dr. Galaal and colleagues reviewed data from 1,441 women enrolled in 11 randomized and "quasi randomized controlled trials" that had enrolled 1,441 women.
Women undergoing colposcopy have typically had an abnormal pap smear and as a result they tend to have "high levels of stress and anxiety." In addition to fears about cervical cancer, the women often have anxieties about the nature of the procedure and possible complications.
The review found that neither information leaflets nor pre-colposcopic counseling were associated with a reduction in anxiety. Combining information delivered by print or video with counseling didn't have much effect, either.
But the authors noted that the information contained in the pamphlets "did increase knowledge levels," so they were found to be a useful -- but not calming -- intervention.
"Cervical cancer is a very serious disease and it is important that we encourage women to take part in screening tests. Using the best ways of helping women relax during the process makes it less unpleasant and could consequently help increase the numbers of women who take up the offer of screening," said Dr. Galaal in a statement.