Overactive bladder (OAB) affects approximately 11% of men and women worldwide. Most of those who suffer from it do not seek treatment. This qualitative study examined issues impacting treatment access for OAB from the perspectives of patients, sufferers (untreated individuals), continence advisors (CAs), and general practitioners (GPs). The study included 36 participants, 6 of whom were patients, 12 sufferers, 13 CAs, and, 5 GPs. In-depth individual and focus-group interviews were conducted in Glasgow, London, and Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Researchers transcribed the interview data verbatim and analyzed them thematically. This study showed that sufferers of OAB were reluctant to seek medical help, if they sought help at all. Many OAB sufferers believe that the condition is an inevitable, untreatable part of aging. Embarrassment around the subject of continence and inability to control urinary urgency limits the ability of both patients and GPs to discuss OAB and impedes diagnosis and treatment. GP visit-time constraints and limited awareness of OAB management and the referral process between CAs, specialists, and GPs present obstacles to effective treatment. Additionally, fear of procedures as well as gender and class issues interfere with the recommended management protocols for OAB. GPs, CAs, and patients need to overcome barriers in order to ensure that OAB is effectively diagnosed and treated. Clinicians require greater knowledge of the condition, its management, and the embarrassment and fears that people with OAB experience so they can appropriately diagnose, educate, and treat them. OAB sufferers need to be more aware of the prevalence of the condition in order to overcome feelings of isolation and embarrassment and to learn of the variety of available treatments (behavior modification, medication), and how to access them.
|Advisor:||Fritz, H. Ira|
|School:||Union Institute and University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 68/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social psychology, Public health, Welfare|
|Keywords:||Barriers to treatment, Lower urinary tract, Overactive bladder, Quality of life, Urinary incontinence|
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