The objective of this study was to explore knowledge, barriers to seeking sociocultural perceptions of pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) among African American (AA) and Latina (LA) community-dwelling women.
Thirty-two women participated in 4 focus groups. The sample included AA and LA women aged 24 to 77 years. Focus groups were stratified by age and race/ethnicity. Discussion questions included knowledge of and related health needs and barriers to seeking care with respect to PFDs, urinary incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. Demographics and basic knowledge and experience with PFDs were also captured by survey.
Several significant themes emerged from the data. AA and LA women had general misconceptions about PFDs and were unaware of PFDs causes, symptoms, and available treatments. Women were eager to receive more information, particularly prevention information that could be shared with their daughters. A major barrier to seeking care was the pattern of placing family demands before their own health needs.
Findings suggest that there is a gap in information on PFDs among AA and LA women, yet a demand for information exists. Sociocultural perspectives discerned from focus group with AA and LA women can be used to tailor educational information and materials on PFDs. Findings may increase health provider awareness of the unique sociocultural barriers to seeking care for AA and LA women and improve patient education on PFDs.