Qualitative insights into the experiences of living with moderate-to-severe lower urinary tract symptoms among community-dwelling ageing males

Kwai Ping Lorna Suen, Huilin Cheng, Simon Kai Wang Yeung, Cypher Ho Au-Yeung, Jillianne Chi Yen Lee, Kathy Kit Ying Ho, Natalie Ming Yan Lau, Cristina Ka Fu Ng, Iris Wai Sze Chan

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Abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) comprise a highly prevalent chronic condition among the aging male population. Existing literature on the experiences of men with LUTS is scarce given that only a few studies explored medical care-seeking behaviors and coping strategies. The current understanding of the experiences of elderly males with LUTS is considerably limited. Therefore, the present study aimed to identify the experiences of living with moderate-to-severe LUTS among community-dwelling Chinese ageing males and their coping strategies to facilitate the management of LUTS by healthcare providers. Methods and findings: A qualitative exploratory design using thematic analysis was used. Semi-structured interviews with 24 Chinese ageing males with moderate-to-severe LUTS were conducted. According to the participants, LUTS adversely affect the physical aspects of their daily lives. Most of them were unwilling to seek social support and were even embarrassed to share this topic with their peers. A range of psychological responses could be observed from the participants that range from regarding the condition as a natural life course to loss of one’s self-esteem. Most of the interviewees lacked knowledge and held misconceptions toward LUTS, which prevented them from pursuing medical advice. Most of the participants also sought alternative treatments and developed self-help methods to cope with their symptoms. Conclusion: LUTS affects the physical and social aspects of sufferers. The findings of this qualitative study can raise awareness about the life experiences, perceptions, misconceptions, and help-seeking behaviors of Chinese elderly with LUTS. Proper health education and advice can be provided for this population.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0187085
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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