Barriers and Promotors to Health Service Utilization for Pelvic Floor Disorders in the United States: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Qualitative and Quantitative Studies.

We need a systematic approach to understanding health service utilization behavior in women with pelvic floor symptoms in the United States.

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of pelvic floor care utilization and identify its barriers and promotors using Andersen's model, which theorizes care-seeking behavior with individual care needs, resources, predispositions, and macrostructures.

This was a systematic search of studies on care-seeking patterns in women with symptomatic pelvic floor disorders, which included pelvic organ prolapse, lower urinary tract symptoms, and anal incontinence. We then performed meta-analyses with random-effects models and descriptive analysis to determine utilization rate and the impact of each identified determinant.

The pooled utilization rate was 37% (95% confidence interval [CI], 30%-45%). Determinants were identified across all domains except at the macrostructure level. For individual care needs, increased symptom severity or duration and a history of depression (odds ratio [OR], 1.27; 95% CI, 1.07-1.51) were associated with higher utilization. In the resources domain, having social support and established primary/secondary care were promotors, whereas higher income and employed status trended as barriers. Under predispositions, age ≥50 years (OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05-1.60), and pelvic floor awareness were associated with utilization, whereas Asian (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.51-0.72) and Black (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.55-1.08) women as well as women experiencing fear, misinformation, or normalization of pelvic floor disorders had decreased utilization.

This review identified a low utilization rate for pelvic floor care and revealed multilayered, actionable items affecting care-seeking behavior. It highlights the need for more inclusive and multifaceted approaches in future pelvic floor disparity research and equity interventions.

Female pelvic medicine & reconstructive surgery. 2022 May 30 [Epub ahead of print]

Tsung Mou, Javier Gonzalez, Ankita Gupta, Michele O'Shea, Mary Duarte Thibault, Elizabeth L Gray, Molly Beestrum, Oluwateniola Brown, Sara Cichowski

From the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR., Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Louisville Health, Louisville, KY., Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University, Durham, NC., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI., Department of Preventive Medicine., Galter Health Sciences Library, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

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