Knowledge of cervical dysplasia and human papillomavirus among women seen in a colposcopy clinic

Sandi L. Pruitt, Patricia A. Parker, Susan K. Peterson, Tao Le, Michele Follen, Karen Basen-Engquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


Objective. This study was undertaken to evaluate knowledge of cervical dysplasia and human papillomavirus (HPV) among women seen in a colposcopy clinic. Study design. Demographics, knowledge, and psychological distress were assessed in structured interviews with 175 women before, during, and after colposcopy. Results. Respondents had low knowledge scores before and after colposcopy; however, their overall knowledge improved slightly (P = 0.013) following the exam. When responses were examined by question, respondents demonstrated a significant increase of correct answers to only one question: Does dysplasia, or precancerous cells on the cervix, always go away without treatment? Pre-exam knowledge was positively associated with educational level and was lower among Hispanics and patients recruited at the clinic. Post-exam knowledge was positively associated with pre-exam knowledge and educational level. Conclusion. Routine clinical education during colposcopy can improve patients' understanding of cervical cancer; however, the low level of knowledge that persisted after colposcopy is a cause for concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S236-S244
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005



  • Cervix dysplasia
  • Colposcopy
  • Knowledge
  • Papillomavirus, human

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this