Patients' experiences of seeking health care for lower urinary tract symptoms

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Abstract

A gap between experiencing symptoms and receiving effective treatment persists for people with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), even for those who seek health care. In order to better understand how patients experience treatment seeking for LUTS, we interviewed a racially diverse sample of 90 men and women with a range of LUTS about their experiences seeking care. Thematic analysis revealed that patients often disclosed urinary symptoms first to primary care providers during a general examination or a visit for another health problem. Patients seek provider assistance typically when symptoms have intensified or are causing worry, and a desire for treatment trumps potential embarrassment; among women patients, feeling comfortable with a provider also is important for disclosing LUTS. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 34:496–507, 2011

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