Management of anxiety and pain perception in women undergoing office hysteroscopy: a systematic review


Advocate Lutheran General Hospital


Purpose: The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the literature about the perception and management of anxiety and pain in women undergoing an office hysteroscopic procedure.

Methods: We performed a systematic literature search in Embase, PubMed/MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and Web of Science for original studies written in English (registered in PROSPERO 2019-CRD42019132341), using the terms 'hysteroscopy' AND 'pain' AND 'anxiety' published up to January 2019. Only original articles (randomized, observational and retrospective studies) about management of anxiety and pain related to the hysteroscopic procedure were considered eligible.

Results: Our literature search produced 84 records. After exclusions, 11 studies including 2222 patients showed the following results: (a) pain experienced during hysteroscopy is negatively affected by preprocedural anxiety; (b) pharmacological interventions seem to be help in reducing pain during hysteroscopy; (c) waiting time before the procedure is a significant factor affecting patients' anxiety; (d) music during the procedure may be helpful in reducing anxiety.

Conclusions: The utilization of office hysteroscopy is hampered by varying levels of anxiety and pain perceived by women who are candidates for the procedure. For these reasons, it is essential to identify effective pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies to alleviate these factors. We recommend further studies especially focusing on non-pharmacological interventions to facilitate the dissemination of good clinical practices among hysteroscopists.

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