Diagnostic delay in secondary care for lower urinary tract and pelvic organ prolapse symptoms in women - Abstract

PURPOSE:Many women suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) symptoms.

However, only a fraction actually seeks medical advice shortly after the onset of these symptoms. In this study, we sought to evaluate and compare the delay in seeking medical help in this patient population.

METHODS: A prospective cohort study was performed among 223 consecutive women who were referred to the urogynecology outpatient clinic for secondary assessment of LUTS and POP symptoms. The exclusion criteria included previous evaluation for the same symptoms, inability to communicate, or refusal to participate in the study. Each patient completed a detailed questionnaire of all pelvic floor symptoms (urinary, bowel and prolapse and sexual). Delay was measured from the time the symptoms were first noted by the patient to the first visit to our clinic.

RESULTS: Mean length of delay was 43.8 months without significant difference between the LUTS and POP groups. The symptoms affected daily activities in 41.7% of the total group with no significant between-group difference. The POP group had significant decrease in intercourse (11.8%) than the LUTS group (4.3%) (p = 0.043). The main reason for the delay was patients' delay in 65.9% of the total group with no significant between-group difference. About 22.5% of all women thought that their primary health physician was responsible for the delay and only 2.2% blamed the medical system for the delay.

CONCLUSION: There is a significant delay in seeking secondary medical help in women with POP and LUTS.

Written by:
Krissi H, Eitan R, Edward R, Peled Y. Are you the author?
Urogynecology Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beilinson Hospital, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Reference: Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2012 Feb 14. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1007/s00404-012-2247-0

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22331223