The impact of viewing a hysteroscopy on a screen on the patient’s experience: a randomised trial


Dr J Ogden, Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK. Email


Background  The introduction of patient screens for outpatient procedures is becoming increasingly common. To date, the impact on the patient of viewing the screen remains unknown.

Objectives  To explore how viewing the screen during a hysteroscopy procedure affects the patient’s experience.

Setting  The outpatient clinics at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford and the Royal Infirmary in Bradford.

Design  A randomised control trial.

Sample  Women undergoing a hysteroscopy procedure were randomly allocated to see the screen (n = 81) or not to see the screen (n = 76).

Methods  A quantitative study with measures taken before and after the intervention.

Main outcome measures  Pain perception, mood, illness cognitions, communication.

Results  Seeing the screen or not had no impact on several measures of pain perception, mood, illness cognitions or communication. However, women who did not see the screen were more optimistic about the effectiveness of their treatment and felt that the health professional was more receptive to them during the consultation compared with those who saw the screen. After controlling for the use of a local anaesthetic, those who did not see the screen also reported a greater decrease in anxiety after the procedure. However, those who saw the screen described pain more positively (i.e. in terms of comfort, reassurance or encouragement) compared with those who did not see the screen.

Conclusion  Viewing the screen does not benefit the patient and may interfere with the patient–physician interaction.