“Pelvic floor concerns can be difficult for women to talk about and may impact decisions of whether to seek healthcare.”
Assessment of virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic from urogynecology patients
This project is the second branch of a larger study that aims to explore perspectives on accessing virtual care services among women attending the urogynecology clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. The COVID-19 pandemic led to an abrupt transition from in-person to virtual appointments at the urogynecology clinic, which interrupted the continuity of care for many women experiencing chronic pelvic floor conditions such as urinary incontinence and pelvic pain.
The first branch of the study surveyed participants with appointments (via phone, Zoom, or in-person) from September 2020 to the summer of 2022 about their degree of satisfaction with the care received. The survey used rating scales and comment boxes to assess care experiences and collected basic participant demographic information. The nature of pelvic floor concerns was assessed using the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory, a validated questionnaire.
For the second branch of the study, survey participants who wished to be contacted for further involvement in this project will be invited to participate in focus group interviews. Participants will be asked a series of pre-set, open-ended questions related to experiences with virtual care, any barriers or perceived benefits to remote care delivery and their ideas for improvements to virtual care delivery through the clinic. Responses will be analyzed for general themes among participants regarding virtual care experiences. The findings from the interviews will be used in combination with survey data to provide insight into the role of virtual care delivery in meeting patients' needs. These data will also serve as the basis to implement changes within the clinic to make healthcare more accessible for all patients.
Delia Lee was supervised by Jane Schulz and her summer studentship was funded by the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation. She is enrolled in the Doctor of Medicine program.