Psychosocial factors in risk of cervical intraepithelial lesions.


This study examines the relationship among psychosocial factors, behavioral risks for abnormal cervical cytology, and abnormal cervical cytology.

A self-administered questionnaire was used to measure perceived stress, discrimination, lifetime stressful events, optimism, social support, and psychological state. Women with normal Pap smears attending a primary care clinic and women attending a colposcopy clinic because of an abnormal Pap smear were eligible. The scores between the two groups were compared.

A total of 265 women participated in the study. There were no significant relationships between psychosocial factors and cervical cytology status. In a regression model, age (B = -0.057, p = 0.001) was predictive of having abnormal cervical cytology. Smoking was correlated with an increased family Apgar score (p = 0.021), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) score (p = 0.049), and Revised Life Stressor Checklist score (p < 0.001). A higher mean number of lifetime male partners was related to increased family Apgar score (p = 0.012), Revised Life Stressor Checklist score (p < 0.001), and major event discrimination (p < 0.001). Earlier age at coitarche was associated with increased family Apgar score (p < 0.001).

These results do not support that psychosocial factors play a role in the risk of developing abnormal cervical cytology. Behavioral risks for developing abnormal cervical cytology are associated with life stressors, family function, and perceived discrimination.

  • Bailey JM
  • Bieniasz ME
  • Murray SI
  • Ruffin MT
  • Wilkerson JE
PubMed ID
Appears In
J Womens Health (Larchmt), 2009, 18 (4)