Article

Delivering an effective outpatient service in gynaecology: an assessment of patient preference

Gynaecological Endoscopy 11/2002; 11(6):337 - 343. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2508.2002.00543.x

ABSTRACT Objectives  To assess whether patients would prefer to undergo outpatient or day-case hysteroscopy for the investigation of abnormal uterine bleeding.Design  An anonymous questionnaire.Setting  A general gynaecology clinic in a large UK teaching hospital.Subjects  250 consecutive patients attending the gynaecology clinic.Main outcome measures  These were patient preference for either outpatient or day-case hysteroscopy, and the reasons for the decisions.Results  The questionnaire was completed by189 patients (76% response rate). Of these 52% chose outpatient hysteroscopy, 26% chose day-case hysteroscopy, 17% wanted to let the doctor decide and 5% needed more information. We found that women in employment and those who had previously undergone review were significantly more likely to opt for outpatient hysteroscopy. The most common reason for preferring outpatient hysteroscopy was that the entire process was quick, whereas the main reason for NOT favouring it was the potential for discomfort. The main appeal of day-case hysteroscopy for patients was that no pain would be felt during the procedure; the most common reason for disliking day-case hysteroscopy was the possible wait for up to 3 hours in the day-case unit before hysteroscopy was performed.Conclusions  When given the choice, women prefer to undergo outpatient rather than daycase hysteroscopy for the investigation of abnormal uterine bleeding. From the patient's perspective, the most common reasons for preferring outpatient hysteroscopy are (in order of priority): the speed of the entire process; the uninterrupted sequence of counselling, investigation and information regarding results, and the shorter wait in hospital before the hysteroscopy is performed.

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