This qualitative interview study explores aspects women with urinary incontinence(UI) reflect upon when considering whether or not to have surgery. Conducted prior to the recent mesh pause in the UK, the article provides insights for current and future approaches to shared decision-making.
Qualitative in-depth interviews of 28 patients referred to secondary care for stress and mixed UI who were considering UI surgery. Participants were recruited from four urogynaecology clinics in the Midlands and South England, UK. Interviews were conducted in clinics, in patient homes, and by telephone. Data analysis was based on the constant comparative method.
Participants' accounts comprised three key concerns: their experience of symptoms, the extent to which these impacted a variety of social roles and demands, and overcoming embarrassment. Accounts drew on individual circumstances, values, and concerns rather than objective or measurable criteria. In combination, these dimensions constituted a personal assessment of the severity of their UI and hence framed the extent to which women prioritized addressing their condition.
Acknowledging women's personal accounts of UI shifts the concept of 'severity' beyond a medical definition to include what is important to patients themselves. Decision-making around elective surgery must endeavour to link medical information with women's own experiences and personal criteria, which often change in priority over time. We propose that this research provides insight into how the controversy around the use of mesh in the UK emerged. This study also suggests ways in which facilitating shared decision-making should be conducted in future.
International urogynecology journal. 2020 Jun 29 [Epub ahead of print]
Rebecca Lynch, Philip Toozs-Hobson, Jonathan Duckett, Douglas Tincello, Simon Cohn
Department of Health Services Research and Policy, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK. ., Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK., Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Gillingham, Kent, UK., Department of Health Sciences, College of Life Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK., Department of Health Services Research and Policy, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.