The Severity of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in Men and Health-Seeking Behaviors in Primary Care


Çay İ., Özçakar N.

17. Aile Hekimliği Güz Okulu, İskele, Cyprus (Kktc), 20 - 24 September 2023, pp.1

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: İskele
  • Country: Cyprus (Kktc)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in male patients presenting to primary healthcare facilities and to examine the relationship between patients' symptom severity and their help-seeking behavior.

Materials and Methods: Male participants who presented to the Family Health Center (FHC) were included in this cross-sectional analytical study. Data were collected using questions related to sociodemographic characteristics, medical history of the patients, the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) scale, and a questionnaire about patients' healthcare-seeking behaviors.

Results: The mean age of the 351 participants was 63.9 ± 6.9 years. According to the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), it was determined that 36.2% of the participants had mild symptoms, 42.7% had moderate symptoms, and 21.1% had severe symptoms, with an average quality of life score of 2.72±2.2. Regarding the participants' perception of LUTS, 67.5% believed that LUTS were normal due to their age, 78.6% did not feel ashamed to discuss LUTS with their family physicians, and 47% were afraid of LUTS being associated with cancer. When evaluating the participants' attitudes and experiences towards family physicians, 39.6% of the participants thought that family physicians did not have sufficient experience with LUTS, and 84.3% expressed a desire to receive information about LUTS from their family physicians. While the majority (81.8%) reported that their family physicians did not inquire about LUTS when they consulted them, 66.1% stated that they did not seek medical attention for LUTS. Approximately half of the participants (58.8%) mentioned that their family physicians referred them for LUTS. Comparative analyses between age, body mass index, smoking status, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and IPSS severity were statistically significant (p<0.05). There was a significant relationship between embarrassment, normalizing the symptoms, cancer fear, future concerns, and IPSS severity (p<0.05). The belief that the family physician lacks experience, expecting to be referred to a higher level of care, and requesting information from the family physician were also significantly associated with IPSS severity (p<0.05).

Conclusion: The prevalence of moderate to severe LUTS was high among the participants. As age increased, the severity of symptoms also increased, and age-related diseases and lifestyle factors were found to play a role in symptom severity. The majority of participants believed that family physicians did not have sufficient experience in managing LUTS and did not inquire about LUTS when consulted. The results of this study emphasize the importance of family physicians understanding their patients' expectations, enhancing communication, and making appropriate referrals when necessary. Improving male healthcare and raising awareness among patients are crucial aspects of primary healthcare services.