Integrated Model of Care for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Abstract

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects approximately one in seven women worldwide from early adulthood with heterogeneity in their healthcare needs through the life cycle. PCOS is challenging to diagnose and manage, with one-third of women reporting at least a 2-year delay in diagnosis. Current clinical services do not satisfactorily educate and support women with their diverse reproductive, metabolic, and psychological care needs with fragmentation of services across health providers. Women are dissatisfied with the care they received, while the first contact general practitioners often feel ill-equipped to diagnose and manage PCOS. Despite national evidence-based guidelines recommending integrated multidisciplinary services, guideline translation has been limited, with wide practice variation and no optimal models of care. Lifestyle management and psychological support are the cornerstones of care and health providers who most commonly manage PCOS (general practitioners, dermatologists, endocrinologists, and gynecologists) require appropriate resources and multidisciplinary support. An evidence-based patient-centered clinical model of care, codeveloped by consumers and health professionals that provides education and resources and offers multidisciplinary holistic care, is vital to support women with PCOS.

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