Extensive impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pelvic floor dysfunctions care: A nationwide interdisciplinary survey

Emilio Sacco, Carlo Gandi, Vincenzo Li Marzi, Gianfranco Lamberti, Maurizio Serati, Enrico Finazzi Agro', Marco Soligo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aims: To investigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on health-care provision to patients suffering from pelvic floor dysfunctions in Italy. Methods: A retrospective web-based interdisciplinary survey was mailed by the Italian Society of Urodynamics to members involved in pelvic floor dysfunctions management from June 22, 2020 to July 17, 2020. The 84-item questionnaire investigated the period March–June 2020 (first epidemic wave) and showed high content validity. The primary outcome was the mean rate of cancellation for health-care services. Secondary outcomes included estimation of the accumulated surgeries backload until return to baseline activity and of the recovery pattern, using linear regression and scenario-based forecasting. Results: A total of 85 participants provided complete responses. Respondents were mostly urologists (47%), followed by gynecologists (29.5%) and physiatrists (17.6%). On average, 78.4% of outpatient services and 82.7% of functional surgeries were canceled, without significant differences by geographical distribution. An impact on patients' quality of life was anticipated by most of the respondents (87%) and 48.2% also reported potentially serious health risks for patients. Thirty-three percent of the respondents reported the use of telemedicine. If the nation-wide surgical activity increases by 20% postpandemic, it would take 37 months to clear the backlog of functional surgeries. We acknowledge the inherent limitations of the survey methodology and retrospective design. Conclusions: Access to care for patients suffering from pelvic floor dysfunctions has been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The indirect effects of this unprecedented disruption on pelvic floor dysfunctions care may last for several months.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-704-704
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Volume40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • chronic pelvic pain
  • cystitis
  • incontinence
  • overactive bladder
  • pelvic floor dysfunction
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • perineal fistula

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