Knowledge of pelvic floor disorders in women seeking primary care: A cross-sectional study

Chi Chiung Grace Chen, Jacob T. Cox, Chloe Yuan, Lauren Thomaier, Sonia Dutta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Pelvic floor disorders including urinary incontinence (UI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) are common conditions; however, most women with these symptoms do not seek care. Failure to seek care may be related to misconceptions about these conditions. The aim of this study was to assess the baseline knowledge of UI and POP among adult women presenting to primary care clinics, as well as factors associated with knowledge levels. Methods: A survey with questions from previously validated UI and POP knowledge questionnaires (PIKQ-UI and PIKQ-POP, respectively) was self-administered to a cross-sectional group of adult female patients presenting to three primary care clinics: geriatric, community-based, and hospital-based. Participants' demographics and medical histories were compared using ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis for continuous variables and Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables. In order to compare various covariates with knowledge non-proficiency on PIKQ-UI and PIKQ-POP scales, unadjusted and adjusted ORs with 95% CIs were calculated using bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression, respectively. Results: Of 346 participants, knowledge non-proficiency was similar and consistent across clinic sites and reached 72.0% for UI and 53.6% for POP. On multivariate analysis, lower educational attainment, being unaware of UI or POP as medical conditions, and having no history of care-seeking for these conditions were significantly associated with knowledge non-proficiency on UI, POP, or both. Conclusions: Knowledge non-proficiency for UI and POP is common among women presenting for primary care. For UI, healthcare providers should assess patients' actual understanding of the disease, especially among those with lower educational attainment, to eliminate any possible misconceptions. For POP, the focus should be on increasing awareness of this disease, as many women may have not previously heard of this condition. Simple strategies may increase knowledge in these areas and change care-seeking behaviors. Study registration: None.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number70
JournalBMC Family Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 23 2019

Bibliographical note

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© 2019 The Author(s).


  • Awareness
  • Knowledge
  • Pelvic floor disorder
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal prolapse


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