Communication between physicians and spanish-speaking latin american women with pelvic floor disorders:A cycle of misunderstanding?

Claudia Sevilla, Cecilia K. Wieslander, Alexandriah N. Alas, Gena C. Dunivan, Aqsa A. Khan, Sally L. Maliski, Rebecca G. Rogers, Jennifer Tash Anger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to assess the effect of the initial visit with a specialist on disease understanding among Spanish-speaking women with pelvic floor disorders. Methods: Spanish-speaking women with referrals suggestive of urinary incontinence (UI) and/or pelvic organ prolapse (POP) were recruited from public urogynecology clinics. Patients participated in a health literacy assessment and interview before and after their physician encounter. All interviews were analyzed using Grounded Theory qualitative methods. Results: Twenty-seven women with POP (n = 6), UI (n = 11), and POP/UI (n = 10) were enrolled in this study. The mean age was 55.5 years, and most women had marginal levels of health literacy. From our qualitative analysis, 3 concepts emerged. First, was that patients had poor understanding of their diagnosis before and after the encounter regardless of how extensive the physician's explanation or level of Spanish-proficiency. Second, patients were overwhelmed with the amount of information given to them. Lastly, patients ultimately put their trust in the physician, relying on them for treatment recommendations. Conclusions: Our findings emphasize the difficulty Spanish-speaking women with low health literacy have in understanding information regarding pelvic floor disorders. In this specific population, the physician has a major role in influencing patients' treatment decisions and helping them overcome fears they may have about their condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Disease understanding
  • Health literacy
  • Incontinence
  • Pelvic prolapse
  • Qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Communication between physicians and spanish-speaking latin american women with pelvic floor disorders:A cycle of misunderstanding?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this