Archive \ Volume.7 2016 Issue 3

Psychosocial burden differences between women of reproductive age and menopausal age due to abnormal Pap smear: A pilot study of the East Coast of Malaysia

Shabbir Ahmad Sheikh , Mardiana Mansor , Mainul Haque

Introduction: Women with abnormal Pap smear results are facing psychosocial problems such as fear, anxiety, mental stress, and defaulted follow‑ups. This study aims to identify psychosocial burden differences in mean score between reproductive age group and menopausal age group women with abnormal Pap smear results. Materials and Methods: A total of seventy women with abnormal Pap smear results were recruited from three Ministry of Health, Tertiary Hospital on the East Coast of Malaysia (Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bharu, and Kuantan). The self‑administered PEAPS‑Q‑14 questionnaire was answered by the participants and data were analyzed using descriptive and independent t‑test. Results: Mean age of respondents was 44.79; the majority were Malays (84.3%) and Muslims (88.6%). Only two domains are significant differences between the age groups of <45 years and more than 45 years. These two significant domains are beliefs, feelings, and changes in perception of self (P < 0.003), and worry about human papillomavirus (HPV) infectivity (P < 0.005). Conclusion: Psychosocial burden due to abnormal Pap smear results in terms of mental stress, overwhelming beliefs, and feelings of guilt and worry of HPV infection and possibility of cervical cancer were noted more in reproductive age groups as compared to the menopausal age group. Health‑care providers should be aware of these psychosocial effects whereby they can refer such patients to a gynecologic oncologist for proper counseling at the proper time so that the negative impact due to this psychosocial burden can be prevented.