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Each year many women are identified with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions through cervical cancer screening. It is important to understand the perceptions and needs of those women to increase self-awareness and women’s self-care. Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions can spontaneously resolve if women have good immunity. This study explored the perceptions and needs of Thai women after discovery of such a lesion on cytology results. A qualitative descriptive study with a feminist approach was employed. The study period was February 2020 to June 2021 and ten participants who met the inclusion criteria were recruited. Data were collected through two face-to-face in-depth interviews and transcripts were analyzed using content analysis.
Three main themes were identified: 1) having emotional responses, with three sub-themes (shock, fear, and suspicion); 2) thinking of health behaviors that induce cervical cell changes, with three sub-themes (unhealthy lifestyles, poor personal hygiene, and risky sexual behavior); and 3) needing health care, with three sub-themes (health advice, health appointments, and ways to get health information). The findings of this study reveal how the women felt about having abnormal cells on their cervix, a significant part of feminine identity, as well as how the disorder can occur and what follow-up care is needed. Through a feminist perspective, the findings provide information related to the personal privacy of women and allow nurses to deeply understand their perceptions and needs and empower women’s knowledge after first receiving low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion cytology results. Nurses can use these findings to help meet women’s needs by designing self-management support programs as well as facilitating continuity of health care by providing advice and arranging critical follow-up appointments.
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