Experiences of patients with haemorrhoidal disease: a qualitative study

Robin van Tol, Merel Kimman, Stéphanie Breukink, Jarno Melenhorst, Laurents Stassen, Carmen Dirksen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose To obtain a better understanding of the patients’ experiences with haemorrhoidal disease’ impact on their daily life and results of treatment by performing a qualitative study. Method Individually interviews were conducted among patients with haemorrhoidal disease between 2016 and 2017. Each interview was recorded using an audio recorder and transcribed verbatim. A semi-structured interview guide was used with pre-specified topics, based on a previous conducted literature review. Transcripts were coded and the analysis consisted highlighting passages in the text and assigning each passage a code representing the predefined themes from the interview guide. This resulted in a three-level theme hierarchy: overarching theme, mid-level sub-theme and issues. Results Fifteen participants underwent individual interviews of whom thirteen were conducted by telephone. The mean age was 60.7 years (35–78); five of them were female (33.3%). Pain and blood loss were the most frequently reported symptoms. Participants indicated that these symptoms were directly associated with emotional burden, daily adjustments and social impact. Before diagnosis with haemorrhoidal disease blood loss resulted in feelings of fear and next in embarrassment during social activities. In daily life participants needed to get up early, used sanitary pads for blood loss and anal ice sticks to reduce pain. Participants were often not completely satisfied with the process and outcome of treatment. Conclusion This first qualitative study provides detailed insight into the patients’ experiences with haemorrhoidal disease, impact on daily life and results of treatment. This information may be used in daily practice to create awareness among clinicians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Coloproctology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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