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The experiences of women receiving brachytherapy for cervical cancer: A systematic literature review

Humphrey, Pauline; Bennett, Claire; Cramp, Fiona


Pauline Humphrey

Fiona Cramp
Professor in Long Term Conditions


© 2018 The College of Radiographers Objectives: To determine women's experiences of brachytherapy for cervical cancer. Key findings: Nineteen studies were included for data extraction/synthesis. Twelve studies focussed on psychological issues, seven on pharmacological aspects of women's experiences. Themes of anxiety, distress, pain, informational needs and non-pharmacological interventions were found. Nine out of ten psychological studies described brachytherapy as a distressing experience causing anxiety and distress for most women. Non-pharmacological interventions were found to be effective and inexpensive adjuncts. Peri and post-operative pharmacological management was variable, but duration of procedure was an important factor. Conclusion: Brachytherapy for gynaecological cancer causes varying levels of pain, anxiety and distress. To improve women's experiences there needs to be better pain management, patient information and the development of non-pharmacological interventions. Future recommendations are to develop clinical support guidelines, audit the quality of services and develop effective interventions to improve women's experiences of brachytherapy for locally advanced cervical cancer.


Humphrey, P., Bennett, C., & Cramp, F. (2018). The experiences of women receiving brachytherapy for cervical cancer: A systematic literature review. Radiography, 24(4), 396-403.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 18, 2018
Publication Date Nov 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 12, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 18, 2019
Journal Radiography
Print ISSN 1078-8174
Electronic ISSN 1532-2831
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 4
Pages 396-403
Keywords cervical cancer, brachytherapy, patient experience, distress
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published version is available here:


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