Speculum 'self-insertion': a pilot study

Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 2005, 14 (9), pp. 1098 - 1111
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This paper reports phase II of a pilot study that aimed to determine whether self-insertion of a speculum by women undergoing a pap smear would be more comfortable and lead to an improvement in satisfaction and a decrease in anxiety associated with this procedure. Background. Research demonstrates that pelvic examinations are considered by most women to be unpleasant and are routinely associated with embarrassment, apprehension, fear and often some level of discomfort and/or pain. Design. The study used quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques. Phase I (described elsewhere) tested the newly developed Speculum Self-Insertion Satisfaction Questionnaire for content validity, internal consistency and clarity. Phase II pilot study tested the technique of speculum self-insertion. Women's general level of anxiety was measured using the State Trait Anxiety Inventory, both before and after they performed the self-insertion procedure. Women's satisfaction and acceptance of the procedure was measured using the Speculum Self-Insertion Satisfaction Questionnaire and explored through the use of qualitative research techniques. Participants. A total of 198 women attending family planning clinics in Perth, Western Australia, between September and December 2003 were invited to participate in the study. One hundred and thirty-three women agreed to self-insert their own speculum.
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