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Abstract

The potential for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing in cervical cancer prevention programs has been a topic at the forefront of cervical cancer policy discussions in recent years. To prevent some of the anxiety and psychological distress often experienced on HPV diagnosis and during the period of management, mass patient education must accompany the incorporation of HPV DNA testing into screening protocols. To contribute to a growing body of work that provides an empiric basis for development of effective counseling messages about HPV and HPV testing, this paper highlights women's most common information gaps and psychosocial concerns and describes the different perspectives offered by women's usual sources of information about HPV, including the crucial role of the clinical community in creating a shared decision making environment in which screening decisions and results can be discussed.