This study examined the relationships between illness perceptions, psychological distress and treatment-seeking delay in genital warts patients. Sixty-six genital warts patients were approached while attending a sexual health clinic. They completed a questionnaire assessing their illness perceptions, psychological distress and treatment-seeking delay. Negative perceptions of illness consequences and control and a perceived cyclical timeline were associated with increased psychological distress. Perceived illness consequences maintained significance in a multiple regression equation, which accounted for 25% variance in distress. Depression was associated with treatment-seeking delay (r=0.28, P=0.03). In conclusion, illness perceptions may play an important role in the experience of psychological distress in genital warts patients. The implications of these findings for the design of health-care interventions are discussed.
- illness perceptions
- treatment-seeking delay
- genital warts
- HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS INFECTION
- SEXUALLY-TRANSMITTED DISEASES