A prospective Swedish cohort study on psychosocial factors influencing anxiety in women referred for colposcopy.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives To elucidate risk factors for high state anxiety in women referred for colposcopy. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting Department of Gynaecology, Malmo University Hospital, Sweden. Population A total of 100 consecutive women referred for colposcopy for the first time after an abnormal cervical smear. Methods Women in the study group completed prior to colposcopy the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale-self-rate, and were interviewed about their psychosocial situation. Main outcome measures Variables related to high state anxiety were determined in bivariate and multiple logistic regression analysis. Results High depression scores and the wording of the referral letter for colposcopy were related to high state anxiety in a multivariate analysis. Women with high depression scores had a nine-fold risk for higher levels of state anxiety and did not respond with lower state anxiety levels after information and examination. Women who received a letter stating 'some changes' were at a five-fold increased risk for high levels of state anxiety than those who received a letter stating 'light changes'. Conclusion A depressive mood and the wording of the referral letter for colposcopy after an abnormal smear were predictive of high state anxiety levels.


  • Charlotte Hellsten
  • Karin Sjöström
  • Pelle Lindqvist
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine


  • abnormal cervical smear, colposcopy, depression, STAI, MADRS-S, anxiety
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-38
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Pediatrics/Urology/Gynecology/Endocrinology (013240400), Obstetric, Gynaecological and Prenatal Ultrasound Research Unit (013242720)

Related research output

Charlotte Hellsten, 2008, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University. 118 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

View all (1)