Heidi Brown, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Advanced Pelvic Surgery, Nicholas Schmuhl, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive and Population Health, and Wen Guan, medical student mentee working with Brown, published a commentary on fecal incontinence in UroToday!
“If We Don’t Ask, They Don’t Tell: Screening for Urinary and Fecal Incontinence by Primary Care Providers – Beyond the Abstract” discusses some of the barriers primary care providers may encounter in treating patients with fecal incontinence. Providers may not be sure how to broach the topic with patients, have gaps in their knowledge about incontinence frequency and treatments, or may be uncomfortable talking about it. In the article, Brown suggests ways urogynecologists and urologists can help PCP colleagues strengthen their practices around urinary and fecal incontinence:
“Maybe the greatest tragedy of ineffective provider-patient communication—or silence—surrounding FI is the fact that most patients can improve their symptoms through behavioral (Kegel exercises and dietary modifications), medical, or surgical treatments.
We can impact the problem of under-diagnosis and under-treatment by educating our PCP colleagues about common risk factors and symptoms and participating in the development of best practices for screening, diagnosis, and referral. We can help PCPs generate tools like process maps or algorithms for diagnosis and treatment, electronic medical record innovations, and up-to-date and comprehensive specialist referral lists.”
Read the whole article here. Amazing work!