CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 2017; 77(09): 976-983
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-118132
GebFra Science
Original Article/Originalarbeit
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Fears and Concerns of Patients with Uterine Fibroids – a Survey of 807 Women

Article in several languages: English | deutsch
Nina Isabelle Knudsen
1  Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Klinik für Gynäkologie, Berlin
,
Klaus-D. Wernecke
1  Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Klinik für Gynäkologie, Berlin
2  SOSTANA GmbH, Berlin, Germany
,
Friederike Siedentopf**
3  Martin Luther-Krankenhaus Berlin, Brustzentrum/Klinik für Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe, Berlin, Germany
,
Matthias David**
1  Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Klinik für Gynäkologie, Berlin
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 03 July 2017
revised 04 August 2017

accepted 06 August 2017

Publication Date:
25 September 2017 (online)

  

Abstract

Study questions What specific fears and concerns do patients with uterine fibroids have? How are these influenced by sociodemographic factors, duration of condition and level of knowledge among these women?

Methods Between January 2016 and January 2017 807 patients were consecutively surveyed at a university hospital speciality fibroid clinic using a two page locally developed and validated questionnaire focusing on fibroid-associated fears and concerns.

Results The questionnaire was completed by 730 women (90.5%) the majority of whom reported fears/concerns mainly with regards to treatment (need to treat/side-effects/hysterectomy) and the fibroids themselves (increasing size and number). Various parameters influenced the type and severity of fears: Young patients (< 40 years) had concerns particularly with regard to pregnancy/birthing while older patients (> 40 years) were more concerned about general health and significant blood loss. Time interval since diagnosis also affected fears with different concerns between patients with shorter duration of diagnosis (< 12 months) vs. longer duration (> 12 months). Overall only slight differences could be attributed to immigrant background. Higher level of education correlated with less anxiety. Proper information about fibroids relieved fears of malignant change in particular. Doctors and the internet were the most important sources of patient information.

Conclusions Due to the benign nature of uterine fibroids and their good treatability, fibroid-associated fears are generally unfounded. Precise knowledge of patient fears and concerns should be integrated into clinical care with targeted psychological support to help patients better understand their condition.

* Shared last authorship