Abnormal ovarian cancer screening test result: Women's informational, psychological and practical needs

Patricia Y. Ryan, Kristi D. Graves, Edward J. Pavlik, Michael A. Andrykowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Considerable effort has been devoted to the identification of cost-effective approaches to screening for ovarian cancer (OC). Transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) is one such screening approach. Approximately 5-7% of routine TVS screening tests yield abnormal results. Some women experience significant distress after receipt of an abnormal TVS screening test. Four focus groups provided in-depth, qualitative data regarding the informational, psychological, and practical needs of women after the receipt of an abnormal TVS result. Through question and content analytic procedures, we identified four themes: anticipation, emotional response, role of the screening technician, and impact of prior cancer experiences. Results provide initial guidance toward development of interventions to promote adaptive responses after receipt of an abnormal cancer screening test result.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 5 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Patricia Y. Ryan is Medical Science Liaison, Abraxis Oncology. Kristi D. Graves is Research Instructor, Cancer Control Program, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20001. Edward J. Pavlik is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Michael A. Andrykowski is Professor of Behavioral Science; University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY. Address correspondence to: Patricia Y. Ryan, 1082 The Lane, Lexington, KY 40504 (E-mail: patty.ryan@insightbb.com). The authors wish to thank the women who participated in the focus groups. This research was supported by National Cancer Institute Grants CA08403, CA096558, and CA97760 and the study was conducted when Drs. Ryan and Graves were postdoctoral fellows at the University of Kentucky.


  • Abnormal TVS result
  • Focus groups
  • Ovarian cancer screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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