AUA 2022: The Patient Voice: Experiences with Ureteral Stent Removal – A Urinary Stone Disease Research Network (USDRN) Study

( Sunday afternoon wrapped up with a podium session covering the epidemiology and evaluation of stone disease. Dr. Charles Scales of Duke presented research focused on more deeply understanding the patient experience regarding ureteral stent removal. The researchers in this investigation sought to qualitatively understand the patient experience to help spark and guide better patient care.

This study was a prospective observational cohort study that included a group of 38 patients who were interviewed by professional standardized interviewers within 30 days of having a ureteral stent removed. the interviews were transcribed and phrases were rigorously and systematically correlated and organized using a method called applied thematic analysis to generate themes on the patient experience regarding stents. Participants were asked to reflect on pain and symptoms during, and after stent removal as well as details of their experience.

Of the 38 patients, 31 reported experiencing pain or discomfort and some point during stent removal. 21 reported anticipatory anxiety, with some citing lack of sleep before the procedure due to fears of the unknown or anticipated pain. 11 discussed their feelings of lack of privacy, embarrassment, and exposure during stent removal. Nearly all symptoms of discomfort and pain were reportedly resolved within 24 hours.

The discussion that followed was an insightful reminder that as providers, we can do better. One report from the study was a few patients who expressed disgust when shown the stent after removing and viewing that as “weird and uncomfortable.” Dr. Scales and some audience members comment that now, they practice asking the patient if they want to see certain things or know certain aspects of the procedure prior to doing them. Overall, the conclusion was we can use these observational qualitative studies to learn how we can do better as providers in understanding our patient's experiences.


Presented by: Charles Scales MD, Duke Health System
Co-Authors: Carrie Dombeck, Kevin McKenna, Teresa Swezey, Jodi Antonelli, Alanda Desai, Jonathan Harper, Michele Curatolo, Naim Maalouf, Peter Reese, Rebecca McCune, Hussein Al-Khalidi, Ziya Kirkali, Amy Corneli

Written By: Kalon L. Morgan, Incoming 4th-year Medical Student at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Leadership and Innovation Fellowship Training (LIFT) Scholar at Department of Urology, University of California, Irvine. @kalon_morgan on Twitter during the 2022 American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, Fri, May 13 – Mon, May 16, 2022. 


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