The Needs of Women and Healthcare Providers regarding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Information, Resources, and Education: A Systematic Search and Narrative Review


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Abstract

This article aims to identify and summarize the information, resource, and education needs of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and their healthcare providers. A systematic search of peer-reviewed, primary research literature was conducted. A total of 4,230 articles were identified, duplicates were removed, as well as the title and abstract of 2,819 studies and the full texts of 123 studies were screened against predetermined inclusion criteria. Findings from 35 included studies are described narratively. Main outcome measures include women's perceived needs for, and experiences of, PCOS care and information; healthcare providers’ delivery of PCOS care and information; and healthcare providers’ perceived needs for PCOS information, education programs, or professional development. There is a wealth of literature informing how PCOS information, education, and resources can better meet the needs of women, and about the role women expect healthcare providers to play in providing information within optimal PCOS care. However, few studies evaluate how well existing resources meet women's diverse needs. There is growing indirect evidence about the information and education needed by healthcare providers to provide best-practice PCOS care. However, little research has directly investigated healthcare providers’ information needs or efficacy of PCOS-specific educational programs for healthcare providers. PCOS resources for women should be comprehensive, evidence-based, include the bio-psychosocial dimensions of the condition, and available through a variety of modes. The range of healthcare providers that women may seek care from need resources to support consistent use of the recommended diagnostic criteria, effective recommendation of lifestyle management, and early detection and treatment of symptoms and complications.

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