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Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse Knowledge, Care-Seeking, and Embarrassment in Women Planning Bariatric Surgery

A Cross-sectional Study

Paka, Chandhana MD*; Hallock, Jennifer L. MD; Trock, Bruce PhD; Steele, Kimberley MD, PhD§; James Wright, E. MD

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: January 11, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000688
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective The objective of this study was to assess whether patients seeking bariatric surgery were at least as proficient in urinary incontinence (UI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) knowledge as the general population. Our secondary objective was to determine care-seeking and impact of embarrassment on knowledge of pelvic floor disorders (PFDs).

Methods An anonymous survey was administered to adult women who attended a bariatric surgery information session from May 2015 to January 2016. The comprehensive survey included multiple data points and the Prolapse and Incontinence Knowledge Quiz. The study population was compared with a general population described in a previously published study.

Results Three hundred fifteen participants completed the survey (88% response rate). Mean ± SD age was 41.1 ± 11.3 years (range, 18–69 years), and mean body mass index was 47.4 ± 9.6 kg/m2 (range, 26.7–104.5 kg/m2). A total of 196 women (62.2%) had at least one bothersome PFD symptom. The study population was at least as proficient in UI knowledge as the general population (P < 0.0001), but not for POP knowledge (P < 0.946). Among participants with symptomatic PFD, 91.7% of those with UI symptoms and 70% of those with POP symptoms reported that they would seek care. There was a difference in knowledge proficiency between women who were and were not embarrassed to discuss UI (P = 0.77) or POP (P = 0.99).

Conclusions The study population demonstrated less POP knowledge than the general population, but not for UI knowledge. A high proportion of women with UI or POP symptoms would seek care, but embarrassment to discuss UI or POP negatively impacted knowledge.

From the *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Icahn School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai West Hospital, New York, NY;

Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sacramento, CA;

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Urology, Baltimore, MD; and

§The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Surgery; and The Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD.

Correspondence: Chandhana Paka, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Icahn School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai West Hospital, 1000 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019. E-mail:

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