• What helps some women who have been sexually assaulted attend their cervical smears, whilst others find it more difficult?

    By Kate Madden, Trainee Clinical Phychologist

    Researchers at Royal Holloway University of London are conducting a completely anonymous online survey to try to answer this question and are looking for participants.

    The study is looking into factors that facilitate women who have experienced sexual assault in regularly attending their cervical smear tests, as there is a lot of research showing women who have experienced sexual assault are significantly less likely to attend their cervical smear. This is part of a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London and is supervised by Dr Michael Evangeli, Senior Lecturer and Dr Stuart Gibson, Lead Clinical Psychologist.  They are also working alongside the charity MyBodyBack who are based within Barts Health, who offer support to women who have experienced sexual assault.



    The study has been given ethical approval from the London South East Research Ethics Committee and Royal Holloway Ethics Committee.

    What does the study involve?

    The study asks women aged 25-65 years (due to eligibility for cervical smears) to answer a range of questionnaires on demographic details, health behaviour, cervical smears knowledge, and their experience of sexual assault and trauma symptoms. This information will then be analysed to explore whether different factors are related to increased intention to attend cervical smears or on-going attendance.

    How can you help?

    The study is being conducted online to help maintain a high level of confidentiality and as feedback from service users indicates they felt more comfortable answering questions online rather than face to face. You can take part in the study or forward it on to relevant groups, organisations or people you know.

    Further details can be found here: https://rhulpsychology.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0MJX0CH8e7OnGg5


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