Prevalence and triage of first-contact complaints on pelvic floor dysfunctions in female patients at a Pelvic Care Centre

Bary Berghmans*, Fred Nieman, C. Leue, M. Weemhoff, S. Breukink, G. van Koeveringe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims(i) To describe and analyse pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms in women referred to a Pelvic Care Centre (PCC). (ii) To describe the triage process of the same patients based on response to a first-contact interview. MethodsTriage started with a telephone interview using previously constructed questions, asking for seven types of PF complaints during the preceding 6 months. If present, complaint severity was registered on a 0-10 scale. Next, these first-contact complaints were used to describe patient case mix profiles using cross-tabular analysis. Later on, at first PCC visit, an intake questionnaire containing questions on specific PF health problem(s) was filled out. This procedure contributed to a firm baseline characterization of the individual patient profile and a clinically valid allocation to structured, predefined assessment, and treatment. ResultsFrom 2005 to 2013, 4473 first-time patients (mean age 56.9 (SD 16.2) have been referred to the PCC. Most frequently mentioned complaints: voiding dysfunction (59.5%), urinary incontinence (46.6%), prolapse (41.1%), fecal incontinence (15.1%), constipation (12.6%), and sexual problems (4.6%). A first appointment to a single specialist was determined in 3.110 (69.5%) patients, in 1.192 (26.7%) consultation of >1 specialist. Data analysis revealed higher-order interactions between PF complaints, suggesting patient profile complexity and patient population heterogeneity. ConclusionsMore than one out of four PCC patients showed multifactorial problems, needing >1 specialist. PF complaints either turned out to stand alone or cluster with others, or even to strengthen, weaken, nullify, or inverse relationships. Neurourol. Urodynam. 35:503-508, 2016.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-508
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • epidemiology
  • female
  • heterogeneity
  • interaction
  • multidisciplinary
  • pelvic floor
  • pelvic floor dysfunctions

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