The Value of Qualitative Research in Urogynaecology

Published in: BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, v. 116, no. 1, Jan. 2009, Commentary, p. 3-6

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Alok Doshi, Emma Pitchforth, Christopher Mayne, Douglas G. Tincello

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Lower urinary tract dysfunction is a common and distressing problem. With functional, psychological, and social sequel, it can have far-reaching effects on everyday life for individuals affected and others. Over 25 years ago, Patrick Bates coined the phrase 'the bladder is an unreliable witness', meaning that no matter what the underlying pathophysiology, the bladder has a limited means of expressing its own pathology. But what about those to whom these bladders belong? There is increasing recognition that what matters to most women with chronic illness is how well they are able to function and how they feel about their day-to-day lives. Understanding patients concerns, expectations and requests is important for the measurement of healthcare quality, the delivery of health services, and the costs of care.

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