ABSTRACT: This study aimed to evaluate the emotional path, impact on everyday life, and adequacy of patient education throughout the diagnostic and therapeutic journey of women who received a positive human papillomavirus (HPV) test or Pap smear result.An online survey was designed to determine the demographic characteristics, dominant feelings throughout the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, major lifestyle changes, impact on social life, and perceived adequacy of patient information in Italian women with a positive HPV test or abnormal cervical cytology result. In this study, the phases of the "patient's journey" included the initial test, waiting for colposcopy or biopsy, waiting for surgery, and follow-up.Anxiety, worry, and fear were the most frequently cited emotions during the initial tests and intervals between procedures. Anxiety and fear gradually decreased during the journey until surgery, and higher levels of optimism were observed postsurgery. The most frequently reported lifestyle changes were attempts to boost the immune system, increased precautions in sexual practices, and dietary changes. Social life is affected by changes in sexual and intimate relationships with partners. Women reported receiving insufficient patient education on the diagnosis and its implications, progression, management, personal care, and resolution.Significant attention should be given to the psychosocial aspects of the entire patient journey after receiving a positive HPV test or an abnormal Pap smear result. It is essential to establish a good rapport between patients and healthcare professionals, and to educate women regarding the condition by minimizing the gap between the perceived and desired adequacy of information.
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