Matching intra-procedural information with coping style reduces psychophysiological arousal in women undergoing colposcopy

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Kola, Susanna ; Walsh, Jane C. ; Hughes, Brian M. ; Howard, Siobhan (2013)

This study assessed the combined effects of coping style and intra-procedural information on indices of distress (physiological measures, observed distress, self-report measures of anxiety and affect) among a group of patients undergoing colposcopy. High and low monitors were exposed to one of three interventions: high information (live video feed of colposcopy); low information (complete audiovisual distraction); and control. Results revealed a 2 (monitoring style) × 3 (information level) × 2 (time) interaction for systolic blood pressure (SBP), F(2, 111) = 3.55, p = .032. Among low monitors, patients in the low-information group exhibited significant SBP reductions during colposcopy, while those in the high-information group exhibited SBP increases. Among high monitors, patients in the high-information and control groups exhibited SBP reductions. Further, significant differences in observed signs of distress were found between groups with high monitors in the low-information group faring best overall, F(2, 111) = 4.41, p = .014. These findings indicate that tailoring information to suit individual coping style may maximize the apparent efficacy of interventions aimed at reducing stress during medical examinations.
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