Would integrating women's professional care of pelvic organ prolapse improve the symptoms and quality of life: an integrative literature review
Authors: Davies, N. and Burdett, T.
Journal: Journal of Integrated Care
Purpose: Integrated healthcare is a central tenant of the NHS Long Term Plan (NHS, 2019). NICE in 2019 published guidelines; advising the integration of multidisciplinary professionals which may lead to an improvement in conservative treatment methods of pelvic organ prolapse. Therefore, current literature on the conservative treatments for pelvic organ prolapse needs to be reviewed to ascertain if an integrated approach would improve the symptoms and quality of life for women. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic review of the literature between 2013 and 2018 was implemented. Papers included were written in English, peer-reviewed and consisted of treatments of pelvic organ prolapse in women. Papers containing surgical interventions, postpartum participants, reviews, evaluations, guidelines, follow-up studies, focusing on cost effectiveness, sexual function were excluded. Findings: Seven studies in total were included, and two overarching themes were identified: quality of life after treatment and the effect of conservative treatment on pelvic organ prolapse symptoms. The literature suggested that integrating care had a more positive outcome on pelvic organ symptoms and quality of life. Research limitations/implications: To develop a robust enhanced model of care for conservative treatment of pelvic organ prolapse through more mixed method or qualitative research, that incorporates integrative treatment methods with collaboration from multidisciplinary professionals. Practical implications: The practical implications of integrating the conservative management of pelvic organ prolapse is the communication between the multidisciplinary team must be exceptional to ensure everyone understands and agrees the treatment that is being provided to patient. Also, effective teamwork is important to ensure the patient receives the best care with input from the correct disciplines. The multi-professional team will need to have regular meetings to discuss and implement care plans for patients that might prove difficult to schedule due to differing commitments and priorities. This must be overcome to insure a successful and effective integrated approach to pelvic organ prolapse is delivered. Social implications: The social implications of integrating the professional approach to women's care of pelvic organ prolapse involves reducing the severity of the symptoms therefore, increasing the quality of life. This may result in the reduction of surgical intervention due to the patient being satisfied with the conservative management. Through integrating the management of the prolapse the patient will receive an accessible individualised care plan pathway that focuses on treating or reducing the impact of the symptoms that are bothersome to the patient whilst managing patient expectations. Patients will also, be reassured by the number of multi-disciplinary professionals involved in their care. Originality/value: Global integration of conservative treatments and multidisciplinary-professionals specialising in pelvic organ prolapse and pelvic floor dysfunction is needed.