A Comparison of Health-Related Quality of Life of Women Awaiting Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgery versus Hip or Knee Replacement
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OBJECTIVE: Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) can significantly decrease the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of women. In 2005, provincial and territorial wait time benchmarks were set in areas such as hip and knee replacement, but such efforts were lagging for urogynaecological surgeries. This study aimed to compare wait times and HRQOL scores of females awaiting surgery for POP with those of women awaiting hip or knee replacement. METHODS: This was a prospectively planned study comparing women undergoing surgical repair of POP to women having a hip or knee replacement. All women completed a validated HRQOL questionnaire, the Short Form 36 Health Survey. The date of the decision to operate was recorded and patients were followed up prospectively to determine surgical wait time. RESULTS: Three of four physical health concepts were significantly worse for orthopedic patients compared with urogynaecology patients, including the physical component summary (29.2 vs. 41.5, respectively, P < 0.001). Urogynaecology and orthopedic patients had similar emotional and mental well-being, as demonstrated by similar mental component summaries (41.5 vs. 44.6, respectively, P = 0.09). The mean wait time at our institution for hip or knee replacement was 98 days, which was significantly shorter than the mean wait time of 210 days for POP surgery (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Despite less physical and pain impact, urogynaecology patients showed similar emotional distress and mental impact compared with orthopedic patients based on a validated HRQOL questionnaire. Because urogynaecology patients waited more than twice as long for their surgery, resources should be directed to prioritize and improve the surgical wait time for urogynaecology patients.
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