Adolescents and colposcopy: the use of different procedures to reduce anxiety

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Feb;170(2):504-8. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(94)70218-7.


Objective: Two consecutively occurring studies examined whether using a video colposcope to view this procedure or allowing the female adolescent to watch music videos would reduce anxiety and related body movements.

Study design: Female adolescents who underwent colposcopy were randomly assigned to one of two groups, experimental and control. In study 1, 27 female adolescents were randomly assigned either to view the procedure on a television monitor or to be part of a control group (no visual distraction). In study 2, 30 female adolescents were randomly assigned either to a music video group or to a control group. Studies were completed in a consecutive manner and used the same measures, colposcopic equipment, and professional staff, including physician. Multiple measures of anxiety were used (heart rate, behavior observation, and paper and pencil) before, during, and after the procedure. During each colposcopy the subject's behavior across 10 dimensions was observed and coded. Data were analyzed by chi 2, analysis of variance, and Student t tests.

Results: Study 1 found no significant differences in body movements and anxiety ratings between the video colposcope group and controls. In study 2, subjects who were allowed to watch the music videos demonstrated significantly fewer body movements indicative of pain, required less physician reassurance, and received fewer procedural explanations (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Results suggest that allowing a female adolescent to watch music videos during a colposcopic examination appears to decrease body movements associated with discomfort.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Colposcopy / adverse effects
  • Colposcopy / methods*
  • Colposcopy / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Movement
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Television
  • Video Recording