Quality of life among women with symptoms of gynecological morbidities: Results of a cross-sectional study in Karachi, Pakistan

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Abstract

Aims:

A population-based cross-sectional study design was used to study the effects of symptoms of various gynecological morbidities (GM) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of women, residents of squatter settlements of Karachi, Pakistan.

Material and Methods:

This cross-sectional study was conducted in squatter settlements of Karachi from September 2012 to August 2013, with 1002 married, non-pregnant women. After obtaining written informed consent from every participant, a structured questionnaire was used to collect information about symptoms of GM and their effect on four domains of HRQoL (physical, social, functional and financial domains).

Results:

Of 1002 women who participated in the study, 578 reported suffering from one or more symptoms of GM. The most commonly reported symptoms were foul-smelling vaginal discharge, dysmenorrhea and uterovaginal prolapse while the least reported symptom was post-coital bleeding. Symptoms of GM were found to have a negative impact on HRQoL. Approximately one-third of women with the symptoms of GM reported having negative influences on the physical, financial and functional domains of HRQoL with social domain being comparatively less affected. Compared to other symptoms, dysmenorrhea and uterovaginal prolapse were reported to be mostly associated with poor HRQoL of women.

Conclusion:

The concept of HRQoL has been kept marginal and inconspicuous by clinicians. In order to achieve the psychosocial satisfaction of the patient, the focus needs to be diverted to all domains of HRQoL.

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