Information concerning the health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) consequences of colposcopy is limited, particularly over time. In a longitudinal study, we investigated women’s HRQoL at 4, 8 and 12 months post colposcopy and the factors associated with this.
Women attending colposcopy at two large hospitals affiliated with the national screening programme in Ireland were invited to complete questionnaires at 4, 8 and 12 months post colposcopy. HRQoL was measured using the EQ-5D-3L and compared across a range of socio-demographic, clinical and attitudinal variables. A mixed-effects logistic multivariable model was employed to investigate associations between these variables and low HRQoL.
Of 584 women initially recruited, 429, 343 and 303 completed questionnaires at 4, 8 and 12 months, respectively. The mean overall HRQoL score for the sample across all time points was 0.90 (SD 0.16). Approximately 18% of women experienced low HRQoL at each of the three time points. In multivariable testing, over the entire 12-month follow-up period, non-Irish nationals (OR 8.99, 95% CI 2.35–34.43) and women with high-grade referral cytology (OR 2.78, 95% CI 1.08–7.13) were at higher odds of low HRQoL. Women who were past (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.07–0.58) or never (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.16–1.12) smokers were at lower odds of low HRQoL than current smokers. As women’s satisfaction with their healthcare increased their odds of experiencing low HRQoL fell (OR per unit increase 0.51, 95% CI 0.34–0.75).
Women’s HRQoL did not change over the 12 months post colposcopy, but some subgroups of women were at higher risk of experiencing low HRQoL. These subgroups may benefit from additional support.