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Baseline Understanding of Urinary Incontinence and Prolapse in New Urogynecology Patients

Davidson, Emily R.W., MD*; Myers, Erinn M., MD; De La Cruz, Jacquia F., MD; Connolly, AnnaMarie, MD§

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: January/February 2019 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 67–71
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000499
Original Articles

Objectives Investigators sought to assess whether age was related to patient understanding of pelvic floor disorders; given studies show that increased age is associated with lower health literacy.

Methods This was a cross-sectional survey of new urogynecology patients. Enrolled participants completed a survey including demographics, history of urinary incontinence (UI) and pelvic organ prolapse symptoms and treatment, the Prolapse and Incontinence Knowledge Questionnaire (PIKQ), self-assessment of UI and prolapse knowledge, and a pelvic anatomy diagram to label. To achieve 80% power to detect a 2-point difference in PIKQ score, 33 subjects were required per age group (<65 and ≥65 years old).

Results One hundred thirty-five of 160 new urogynecologic patients completed the survey (84% response rate). Thirty-seven participants were older than 65 years, and 98 were younger than 65 years. Total PIKQ scores (maximum, 24), the primary outcome, for the older and younger groups were 15.3 and 15.0, respectively (P = 0.7). The 2 groups self-rated UI and prolapse knowledge similarly, rating knowledge as excellent, very good, or good in 60% (P = 0.3) and 40% (P = 0.2) of subjects, respectively.

Conclusions Baseline patient understanding of UI and pelvic organ prolapse was low as assessed by PIKQ score and was not influenced by age.

New urogynecology patients' baseline knowledge about pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence is low, and there is no difference in this knowledge based on age.

From the *Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH;

Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, NC;

Kaiser Permanente, Portland, OR; and

§University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

Correspondence: Emily R. W. Davidson, MD, 9500 Euclid Ave/A81, Cleveland, OH 44195. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

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