Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the loss of urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising. It is a common and distressing condition, with negative impact on quality of life. If conservative treatment, e.g. pelvic floor muscle training, is not successful, the most successful surgical procedures are mid-urethral mesh tape, colposuspension, autologous fascial sling and urethral bulking agent injections.
Between April 2008 to March 2017, procedure data from the UK NHS confirmed that 100,516 patients had a mid-urethral tape procedure, while only 1195 patients had a non-tape SUI procedure. Although the 2013 national guideline from The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended that tape and non-tape SUI procedures be offered equally, 84 mesh tape procedures were performed for every 1 non-tape procedure over the 10-year period. Hundreds of patients recently engaged in litigation on the basis of lack of informed consent, particularly in offering alternatives to the mesh tape option.
Little is known, however, about how patients choose among different treatment options for SUI and there are no validated patient decision aids (PDAs) in this context.
PDAs have been shown to increase patient knowledge, clarity about their own values and accuracy of risk perceptions regarding various management options. Women considering SUI surgery require up-to-date information on all common and available surgical procedures as well as support in their decision-making, tailored to their values and needs.
Agur et al. on behalf of the NHS Ayrshire & Arran Continence Multidisciplinary Team designed and developed a novel SUI surgery patient decision aid (SUI-PDA) to help women in making a choice of treatment based on their own individual values. This study reports the development and validation of SUI-PDA as well as the initial evaluation of its usefulness in clinical practice for women considering SUI surgery.