University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

From the same journal

By the same authors

View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalPrimary Health Care Research and Development
Journal publication date15 Jun 2017
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Jun 2017


Aim: This study aimed to explore, describe and enhance understanding of women’s experiences, beliefs and knowledge of urinary symptoms in the postpartum period and also sought to understand the perceptions of health professionals of these issues. Background: Women often take no action with regard to urinary symptoms particularly in the postnatal period, which can lead to the adoption of coping mechanisms or normalisation of symptoms. The true prevalence is difficult to assess due to differing age groups and time spans in studies. There is only a small body of work available to try to understand the lack of action on the part of the women, and even less around the attitudes of health professionals. Methods: Grounded theory was selected for a qualitative inductive approach, to attempt to understand the social processes involved and generate new knowledge by examining the different interactions. Recruitment was by theoretical sampling. In total, 15 women were interviewed and two focus groups of health professionals were undertaken. In addition, an antenatal clinic and a postnatal mothers group were observed. All information was analysed manually using constant comparison. Findings: The findings revealed that at times poor communication, lack of clear education and the power of relative’s stories of the past were barriers to help seeking, and were disempowering women, creating a climate for normalisation. Women were willing to talk but preferred the health professional to initiate discussion. In addition, health professionals were concerned about a lack of time and knowledge and were uncertain of the effect of pelvic floor muscle exercises due to some research indicating improvement may not be maintained over time. The core category was; ‘overcoming barriers to facilitate empowerment’, indicating that improving communication and education could reduce barriers and enable them to seek help.

ID: 12203968