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Knowledge of pelvic floor disorders amongst immigrant women in Canada

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

Pelvic floor disorders (PFD) have a detrimental effect on quality of life. Despite the available treatments, women often do not seek medical care. Patient knowledge has been identified as a major barrier to accessing care. The objective of this study was to assess knowledge on PFD amongst women in Edmonton, hypothesizing that immigrant women are less knowledgeable about PFD than Canadian-born women.

Methods

A cross-sectional study of immigrant women and Canadian-born women was conducted. Immigrant women were recruited at the Multi-Cultural Health Brokers Co-op (MCHB) and Canadian-born women at a colposcopy clinic. The Prolapse and Incontinence Knowledge Questionnaire (PIKQ) was administered. Scores for UI and POP were calculated and compared using a Mann–Whitney U test and a t test. A subgroup analysis of immigrants was carried out according to length of stay in Canada and ethnicity. Ethics approval was obtained from the University of Alberta Human Research Ethics Office.

Results

A total of 106 immigrants and 102 Canadian-born women completed the PIKQ. The overall PIKQ scores were 12.7 for immigrant women and 14.4 for Canadian-born women (p = 0.04). Immigrant women who had lived in Canada for >10 years had higher scores (mean = 13.2) compared with women with less than 10 years in Canada (mean = 11.8). Women from South Asia had higher overall PIKQ scores (mean = 14.6) whereas women from sub-Saharan Africa had the lowest scores (mean = 12.1).

Conclusions

Immigrant women in Edmonton were found to have less knowledge on PFD than Canadian-born women.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative and particularly Mrs. Lydia Yip for their tremendous support throughout the design and data collection.

We would like to thank Dr. Cathy Flood for her mentorship and guidance in the first stage of this study design.

Funding

This work was supported by the Women & Children Health Research Institute Clinical/Resident Trainee Research Grant, the Women & Children Health Research Institute Community Research Integration Support Program (CRISP) grant, and the Women & Children Health Research Institute Summer Studentship. The funding source was not involved in the study design, analysis, or manuscript writing.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

L. Roa worked on project development, grant acquisition, partnership development, data analysis, and wrote the original draft of the manuscript; S. Kent worked on grant acquisition, partnership development, data collection, data analysis, and wrote the original draft of the manuscript; M. Yaskina conducted the statistical analysis and gave a significant input into the manuscript; J. Schulz worked on project development, grant acquisition, and gave a significant input into the manuscript. A. Poirier worked on project development, grant acquisition, partnership development, data collection, data analysis, and gave a significant input into the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Annick Poirier.

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Conflicts of interest

The following authors do not declare any conflicts of interest: L. Roa, M. Yaskina, and A. Poirier. S. Kent received a stipend for a Summer Studentship from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Alberta. J. Schulz received a research grant and a speaker honorarium from Pfizer in the past 5 years. She also received a speaker honorarium from Searchlight Pharm in September 2019 and research funding from Astellas about 5 years ago for a different research study.

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Roa, L., Kent, S., Yaskina, M. et al. Knowledge of pelvic floor disorders amongst immigrant women in Canada. Int Urogynecol J 32, 3077–3084 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04662-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04662-1

Keywords

  • Health inequities
  • Immigrants
  • Pelvic floor diseases
  • Prolapse
  • Incontinence