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Keywords

lived experiences, lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), women's health

 

Authors

  1. Wang, Yu-Hsin
  2. Chen, Shin-Hong
  3. Jou, Hei-Jen
  4. Tsao, Lee-Ing

Abstract

Background: In Taiwan, most women with lower urinary tract symptoms live quietly with their symptoms without seeking medical help. These women's voices have not been heard or investigated.

 

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to generate descriptive theory on the basis of the lived experiences of Taiwanese women with lower urinary tract symptoms.

 

Methods: A qualitative study on the basis of grounded theory was used. Sixteen Taiwanese women with lower urinary tract symptoms aged 41-75 years participated in in-depth interviews. The data were analyzed using the constant comparative method.

 

Results: "Doing the best to control" was the core category for describing the process of women who used their own unique ways of controlling urination problems. During the process, "Irritating urination problems" was the term identified as the antecedent condition. The woman would then begin the process of "doing the best to control," which would be marked by action and interaction among four categories: (a) self-limited activities, (b) modify daily life, (c) always looking for the toilet while outdoors, and (d) feeling stress and uneasiness. After this phase, some women would begin "seeking medical help," "trying to practice a helpful lifestyle," or both. However, a few women just "did nothing, just living with it."

 

Discussion: Women do their best to improve self-control of their urination problems. However, stress and uneasiness permeate the process and overshadow their lives.