Improving quality of care during gynecological examinations by reducing anxiety and discomfort
Repository Posting Date2017-12-14T20:02:26Z
Author DetailsKristen Ransone, DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Lead Author Sigma AffliationNon-member
Level of EvidenceN/A
Purpose: The purpose of this poster presentation is to describe the development, implementation and outcomes of a quality improvement project undertaken to address anxiety and discomfort felt by women during gynecological examinations.
Summary: This project was conducted in a single-setting military family practice clinic over a period of 2 months. All the women who presented for a routine gynecological exam were offered a choice of music to be played throughout their visits and their pelvic exams were conducted without the use of stirrups. At the completion of the visit, they completed an 8-question survey about the experience.
Outcomes: Using a Likert-type survey tool, the following results were collected in 17 women. Average scores were: (1) physical discomfort 1.47 (1=no discomfort to 5= complete discomfort), (2) sense of vulnerability 1.41 (1=no vulnerability to 5=completely vulnerable), (3) sense of control 1.35 (1=fully in control to 5=total lack of control), (4) sense of anxiety 1.58 (1=no anxiety to 5=highly anxious), (5) overall quality of care 1.17 (1=excellent to 5=poor). A total of 94% reported this experience made them more likely to return for a wellness exam in the future. Open-ended survey comments supported that the experience was extremely positive.
Implications: Women of all ages and backgrounds commonly feel anxiety and discomfort during their gynecological examinations, which can lead to delays in screening and treatment of disease. This clinical project successfully demonstrated how simple interventions can be applied to the gynecological visit to improve the patient’s experience and overall quality of patient-centered care. By creating a more positive experience, women will be more likely to return for future routine screening and disease treatment.