An evaluation of the impact of post-hysterectomy vesicovaginal fistula repair on the mental health of patients in a developed country
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Introduction and hypothesis
Obstetric vesicovaginal fistulae (VVFs) occur frequently as a result of childbirth in developing countries, but occurrence of VVFs in developed countries is rare and is generally observed after hysterectomy. Moreover, there are no reports regarding the effect of post-hysterectomy VVF repair on the patients’ mental health in developed countries. Our study aimed to confirm the effect of post-hysterectomy VVF repair on Japanese iatrogenic VVF patients’ mental health.
A retrospective chart review was performed for 31 patients who underwent post-hysterectomy VVF repair. Each patient’s urinary incontinence and mental state were evaluated using two questionnaires, the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale questionnaires, respectively, at baseline and at 3 or 6 months post-surgery. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare the pre- and post-repair scores of each questionnaire, while McNemar’s test was used to compare the pre- and post-repair proportions of patients with anxiety and depression.
Of the 31 patients, 13 (41.9%) underwent hysterectomy because of malignancies. All questionnaire scores showed significant improvement after VVF repair. The prevalence of clinical anxiety and depression decreased from 51.6% to 16.1% (P < 0.01) and from 51.6% to 12.9% (P < 0.01), respectively, after VVF repair, and urine leakage through fistulae was not observed in any patient after VVF repair.
Our results suggest that iatrogenic VVF can have severe impacts on patients’ mental health, but VVF repair can significantly improve it.
KeywordsAnxiety Depression Hysterectomy Mental health Vesicovaginal fistula Vesicovaginal fistula repair
We thank Editage (www.editage.jp) for English language editing.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
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