Identifying What Matters to Hysterectomy Patients: Postsurgery Perceptions, Beliefs, and Experiences

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J Patient Cent Res Rev


Purpose: Hysterectomy is the most common non-obstetrical surgery for women in the United States. Few investigations comparing hysterectomy surgical approaches include patient-centered outcomes.

Methods: The study was performed at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan between February 2015 and May 2015. The data were collected through structured focus groups with 24 post-hysterectomy women in order to identify PCOs to employ in a subsequent cohort study of hysterectomy surgical approaches. One pilot focus group and five additional focus groups were held. Qualitative data analysis, using data from coded transcripts of focus groups, was used to identify themes.Eligible women, aged between 18 and 65 years and had an EMR documented Current Procedural Terminology (CPT™) code or an International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems - Ninth Edition (ICD-9) code of hysterectomy between December 2012 and December 2014 (N=1,381, N=307 after exclusions) were selected and recruited. A question guide was developed to investigate women's experiences and feelings about the experience prior and subsequent to their hysterectomy. Analysis utilized the Framework Method.

Results: Focus groups with women who previously had a hysterectomy revealed their pre- and post-hysterectomy perceptions. Responses grouped into topics of pre- and post-surgical experiences, and information all women should know. Responses grouped into themes of 1) decision making, 2) the procedure - surgical experience, 3) recovery, 4) advice to past self, and 5) recommendations to other women.

Conclusion: These findings about perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes of women having undergone hysterectomy could support health care providers deliver patient-centered care. These results informed data collection for a prospective longitudinal cohort study that is now underway. The data suggest a need for increased education and empowerment in the decision making process, while expanding on information given for post-operative expectations and somatic changes that occur post-hysterectomy.

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