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What Do Men with Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Expect from a Urologist in Secondary Care?

Authors Brandenbarg P, Rooijers P, Steffens MG, van Balken MR, Mulder HJ, Blanker MH

Received 12 June 2020

Accepted for publication 17 July 2020

Published 19 August 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 1455—1462


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Pim Brandenbarg,1 Puk Rooijers,1 Martijn G Steffens,2 Michael R van Balken,3 Henk-Jan Mulder,4 Marco H Blanker1

1University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, Groningen, The Netherlands; 2Isala Clinics, Department of Urology, Zwolle, The Netherlands; 3Rijnstate Hospital, Department of Urology, Arnhem, The Netherlands; 4Martini Hospital, Department of Urology, Groningen, The Netherlands

Correspondence: Marco H Blanker
University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, Groningen, The Netherlands
Tel +31 50  361  6729

Purpose: To identify the expectations of men with LUTS referred to a urologist and to study the association between those expectations and satisfaction with the care provided.
Methods: In this prospective cohort study, adult men with LUTS completed a questionnaire before their first outpatient appointment, and again at 6 and 12 weeks. The questionnaires included IPSS and OABq-SF, and self-constructed questions on patient expectations, outcome of expectations and satisfaction.
Results: Data from 182 participants showed positive expectations about the urologist performing examinations, providing explanations and finding the underlying cause, but mostly neutral expectations for treatment plans and outcomes. Positive treatment expectations were associated with positive expectations about outcomes after physiotherapy, drug treatment and surgery. Higher symptom scores and age were associated with higher expectations about drug treatment. Expectations were subjectively and objectively fulfilled for 66.4% and 27.3%, respectively. Symptom improvement (decrease in IPSS scores) was significantly more in men with objectively fulfilled expectations than in men with no unfulfilled expectations. No significant difference was present between men with subjectively fulfilled expectations and men with unfulfilled expectations. However, satisfaction was significantly higher for patients with subjectively fulfilled expectations at 6 and 12 weeks compared with those who had unfulfilled expectations.
Conclusion: Most men referred to a urologist with LUTS do express clear expectations about treatment in secondary care. Patients with higher expectations for treatment outcomes are more likely to expect to receive that treatment. Satisfaction with the care of a urologist is also higher when patients self-report that they receive the treatment they expected.

Keywords: lower urinary tract symptoms, LUTS, expectations, satisfaction, urologist

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