Grants

???There are many options for women who are considering a hysterectomy. It???s an important decision. This innovative online educational tool will help ensure women understand their choices and decide on an approach that meets their needs.??? - Suketu Mansuria, MD, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC

WEB-BASED DECISION AID FOR WOMEN CONSIDERING ELECTIVE HYSTERECTOMY

Grant Application

Suketu Mansuria, MD, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC,, and Faina Linkov, PhD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh

Proposed Innovation

Each year, approximately 600,000 women undergo a hysterectomy — one of the most common gynecologic procedures performed in the United States. The vast majority are elective procedures used to treat conditions such as heavy vaginal bleeding, fibroids, and pelvic pain. Emerging evidence indicates that the use of open (abdominal) surgery for hysterectomy has become excessive. Due to lack of patient education and awareness, many women agree to have an open abdominal hysterectomy without considering other options.

Reducing the use of open hysterectomy — and encouraging minimally invasive procedures such as vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomies — has many benefits, including decreased health care costs, reduced infection rates, fewer complications, and faster return to normal activities. Through this project, an online educational tool will be developed as a web-based decision aid to educate patients about their condition, treatment and surgical options, pros and cons of each option, and the complication and success rates for each option. The goal is to encourage women to be active partners in selecting an approach for hysterectomy that works best for them.

 

Improvements in Action

The team will work with health care providers to develop patient and provider educational aids to help with decision making for women considering elective hysterectomy for benign conditions, including heavy bleeding, endometriosis, and fibroids. Information will be provided on the UPMC website with a user-friendly design accessible on mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers. Paper handouts also will be provided to women without Internet access.

 

Results – In Progress

The decision aid will be developed in six major steps: information gathering, planning, design, development, testing, and delivery. The project will conclude with pilot testing of the website and decision support aids by a group of patients considering hysterectomy.

The website content will be shared with all health care providers serving patients who may need a hysterectomy. It also will be promoted in the UPMC and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC newsletters and nationally through emails, conferences, and health-related newsletters. UPMC physicians will be encouraged to share information with their patients. The site will be monitored and updated on a quarterly basis.