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Obstetrics and Gynecology

Alissa Dangel, MD Research Laboratory

Alissa Dangel, MD is an obstetrician and gynecologist at Tufts Medical Center.The research lab of Alissa Dangel, MD at Tufts Medical Center examines how alternative descriptions of procedures may influence pain perception in OB/GYN patients. 

Scripted Procedure Description and Pain Perception

Colposcopy is an evaluation of the cervix under magnification that involves the application of acetic acid to enhance visualization.  Biopsies are typically taken to obtain further information to guide treatment decisions.  Due to the nature of the procedure, many patients experience pain and discomfort.  We are currently conducting a randomized trial to investigate whether an alternative description of the procedure beforehand influences the amount of pain perceived with the procedure.  The effect of language choice on the perception of pain has been shown in other arenas to decrease discomfort associated with invasive procedures.  Preliminary results indicate patients who had the procedure described to them in gentle terms had slightly lower perceived pain scores than women who had the procedure introduced to them in less selective language.  These results were presented at the 2012 Biennial Meeting of the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.  The study is continuing to collect more data in order to increase the precision of these results.  Alissa Dangel is the Principal Investigator on this study.