Background Women express various opinions
regarding expectations and experiences
of having Pap tests, particularly with
regards to explanation of the procedure,
its implications and results, and
accompanied preventive health activities.
Aim To explore patient expectations and
experiences regarding Pap tests and
associated screening activities.
Results Twenty-four women were interviewed.
There was variation in expectations
regarding consultations for a Pap test,
and also of the information given as
to what is meant by a ‘normal’ result.
Many women expressed a preference
for a female and regular health
professional to undertake their smear.
Conclusion Recognition of general and individual
barriers to cervical screening by
health professionals will enhance
patient access to, and acceptance of,
screening activities. Understanding
patient expectations regarding Pap
tests ensures practitioners deliver health
services with sufficient information and
without false reassurance.
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