A Papanicolaou (Pap) smear can be used to detect pre-cancerous cellular changes, so that they can be treated before they develop into cervical cancer. When the results of a Pap smear test are abnormal, women need further investigation, treatment and follow-up. Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are in a position to care for these women with abnormalities. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of HCPs in caring for women with abnormal Pap smear results. In total, 20 HCPs from two counties in south-eastern Sweden participated in individual interviews, based on two open-ended questions. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using content analysis. The results showed that HCPs experienced that abnormal Pap smear results created anxiety in women, who often sought information from the Internet as a way to cope. Furthermore, the HCPs thought that it was a problem that women chose not to attend investigation, treatment and follow-ups. However, information about the seriousness of abnormal Pap smear results causes women to participate. It is a challenge for HCPs to inform in a reassuring manner. Finally, HCPs should collaborate with women to meet their information needs and to also provide support regarding finding and filtering reliable information on the Internet.
- Omvårdnad (30305)