Fear and Frustration among Women with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections: Findings from Patient Focus Groups.

We investigated the perspectives of women suffering from recurrent urinary tract infections using patient focus group discussions with an emphasis on patient attitudes toward the current prevention and treatment of urinary tract infection episodes.

Twenty-nine women with recurrent urinary tract infections were recruited from a tertiary urology practice to participate in 1 of 6 focus groups. Participants were asked questions related to urinary tract infection knowledge, prevention strategies, treatment and impact on quality of life. Grounded theory methods were used to analyze focus group transcripts and identify preliminary themes that describe patient attitudes toward current management strategies for recurrent urinary tract infections.

The median age of participants was 46 years (range 20-81). The majority were Caucasian and held a college degree. The 7 preliminary themes identified during discussions fell into two categories: 1) negative impacts of taking antibiotics for prevention and treatment of recurrent urinary tract infections, and 2) resentment of the medical profession regarding their management of recurrent urinary tract infections. From the preliminary themes, the emergent concepts of "fear" and "frustration" became evident.

Focus group discussions of women with recurrent urinary tract infections suggest that many women are fearful of the adverse effects of antibiotics and are frustrated with the medical profession for not addressing their fears and optimizing antibiotic stewardship. There is a need for physicians to modify management strategies to address these concerns and to devote more research efforts to improving the nonantibiotic options for prevention and treatment of recurrent urinary tract infections, as well as management strategies that better empower patients.

The Journal of urology. 2021 Jul 08 [Epub ahead of print]

Victoria C S Scott, Lauren W Thum, Taylor Sadun, Melissa Markowitz, Sally L Maliski, A Lenore Ackerman, Jennifer T Anger, Ja-Hong Kim

Division of Urology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Beverly Hills, California., Urology Specialists, Sioux Falls, South Dakota., Department of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California., School of Nursing, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas.

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