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      A qualitative evidence synthesis using meta-ethnography to understand the experience of living with pelvic organ prolapse

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          Abstract

          Introduction and hypothesis

          Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) affects the lives of many people. We aimed to systematically search for, identify and synthesize qualitative research that explores what it is like to live with POP and make this knowledge available for healthcare improvement.

          Methods

          We systematically searched Medline, PsychInfo, Embase and CINAHL, from inception to March 2020, for qualitative research exploring the experience of living with POP. We used meta-ethnography to synthesize findings. This is a conceptual approach to qualitative evidence synthesis. We used the recent guidelines for reporting meta-ethnography.

          Results

          We screened 3103 titles and 255 abstracts and included 37 primary studies. These incorporated the experience of 777 women, (aged 18 to 95 years) from a range of countries. We organized 162 ideas into 27 conceptual categories and 10 themes. We developed a conceptual model that helps us to understand the experience of pelvic organ prolapse. This model indicates that (1) the physical losses of POP are intricately linked to loss of identity; (2) women conceptualized POP as part of womanhood, yet also its thief; (3) there is a vicious cycle of taboo, silence and misunderstanding about POP and its treatment; (4) this silence is exacerbated by a feeling that POP is not taken seriously in healthcare.

          Conclusions

          This meta-ethnography helps us to understand the experience of living with a POP. Our model illustrates the complex process of healthcare decision making. Further studies to explore the complexity of decision making from the perspective of patient and health professional are timely.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings: introduction to the series

          The GRADE-CERQual (‘Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research’) approach provides guidance for assessing how much confidence to place in findings from systematic reviews of qualitative research (or qualitative evidence syntheses). The approach has been developed to support the use of findings from qualitative evidence syntheses in decision-making, including guideline development and policy formulation. Confidence in the evidence from qualitative evidence syntheses is an assessment of the extent to which a review finding is a reasonable representation of the phenomenon of interest. CERQual provides a systematic and transparent framework for assessing confidence in individual review findings, based on consideration of four components: (1) methodological limitations, (2) coherence, (3) adequacy of data, and (4) relevance. A fifth component, dissemination (or publication) bias, may also be important and is being explored. As with the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) approach for effectiveness evidence, CERQual suggests summarising evidence in succinct, transparent, and informative Summary of Qualitative Findings tables. These tables are designed to communicate the review findings and the CERQual assessment of confidence in each finding. This article is the first of a seven-part series providing guidance on how to apply the CERQual approach. In this paper, we describe the rationale and conceptual basis for CERQual, the aims of the approach, how the approach was developed, and its main components. We also outline the purpose and structure of this series and discuss the growing role for qualitative evidence in decision-making. Papers 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in this series discuss each CERQual component, including the rationale for including the component in the approach, how the component is conceptualised, and how it should be assessed. Paper 2 discusses how to make an overall assessment of confidence in a review finding and how to create a Summary of Qualitative Findings table. The series is intended primarily for those undertaking qualitative evidence syntheses or using their findings in decision-making processes but is also relevant to guideline development agencies, primary qualitative researchers, and implementation scientists and practitioners. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s13012-017-0688-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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            Epidemiology and outcome assessment of pelvic organ prolapse.

            The aim was to determine the incidence and prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse surgery and describe how outcomes are reported. Every 4 years and as part of the Fifth International Collaboration on Incontinence we reviewed the English-language scientific literature after searching PubMed, Medline, Cochrane library and Cochrane database of systematic reviews, published up to January 2012. Publications were classified as level 1 evidence (randomised controlled trials [RCT] or systematic reviews, level 2 (poor quality RCT, prospective cohort studies), level 3 (case series or retrospective studies) and level 4 (case reports). The highest level of evidence was utilised by the committee to make evidence-based recommendations based upon the Oxford grading system. A grade A recommendation usually depends on consistent level 1 evidence. A grade B recommendation usually depends on consistent level 2 and/or 3 studies, or "majority evidence" from RCTs. A grade C recommendation usually depends on level 4 studies or "majority evidence" from level 2/3 studies or Delphi processed expert opinion. A grade D "no recommendation possible" would be used where the evidence is inadequate or conflicting and when expert opinion is delivered without a formal analytical process, such as by Delphi . Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) when defined by symptoms has a prevalence of 3-6% and up to 50% when based upon vaginal examination. Surgery for prolapse is performed twice as commonly as continence surgery and prevalence varies widely from 6 to 18%. The incidence of POP surgery ranges from 1.5 to 1.8 per 1,000 women years and peaks in women aged 60-69. When reporting outcomes of the surgical management of prolapse, authors should include a variety of standardised anatomical and functional outcomes. Anatomical outcomes reported should include all POP-Q points and staging, utilising a traditional definition of success with the hymen as the threshold for success. Assessment should be prospective and assessors blinded as to the surgical intervention performed if possible and without any conflict of interest related to the assessment undertaken (grade C). Subjective success postoperatively should be defined as the absence of a vaginal bulge (grade C). Functional outcomes are best reported using valid, reliable and responsive symptom questionnaires and condition-specific HRQOL instruments (grade C). Sexual function is best reported utilising validated condition-specific HRQOL that assess sexual function or validated sexual function questionnaires such as the Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire (PISQ) or the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The sexual activity status of all study participants should be reported pre- and postoperatively under the following categories: sexually active without pain, sexually active with pain or not sexually active (grade C). Prolapse surgery should be defined as primary surgery, and repeat surgery sub-classified as primary surgery different site, repeat surgery, complications related to surgery and surgery for non-prolapse-related conditions (grade C). Significant variation exists in the prevalence and incidence of pelvic organ prolapse surgery and how the outcomes are reported. Much of the variation may be improved by standardisation of definitions and outcomes of reporting on pelvic organ prolapse surgery.
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              "Brimful of STARLITE": toward standards for reporting literature searches.

               Andrew Booth (2006)
              Systematic reviews of qualitative research studies extend understanding of health care beyond effectiveness to acceptability and user views. The paper surveys reports of qualitative systematic reviews and, by characterizing techniques used to identify articles for inclusion, proposes standards for reporting of literature searches. A search of MEDLINE was performed for qualitative systematic reviews published from 1988 to December 2004, supported by searches of CINAHL, Web of Knowledge (including the Science and Social Sciences Citation Index), and the Cochrane Methodology Register, and Internet searches using the Copernic Agent Professional meta-search agent. Studies were included if they used techniques of qualitative synthesis in reviewing research studies in health care. Narrative reviews were excluded. Authors, year of publication, sampling strategy, databases, keywords, and other approaches used were extracted. Sixty-four studies were identified, and forty-three met inclusion criteria for this review. A summary of searching methods was produced and used to construct the STARLITE mnemonic (sampling strategy, type of study, approaches, range of years, limits, inclusion and exclusions, terms used, electronic sources). Considerable variation exists in search methods for qualitative systematic reviews. While diversity in methods is appropriate during the development of review methodology, major concerns remain about the absence of an accepted standard and the consequent poor quality of reporting.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                francine.toye@ouh.nhs.uk
                Journal
                Int Urogynecol J
                Int Urogynecol J
                International Urogynecology Journal
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                0937-3462
                1433-3023
                1 September 2020
                1 September 2020
                : 1-14
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.4991.5, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8948, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS), , University of Oxford, ; Windmill Road, Oxford, OX3 7LD UK
                [2 ]Suffolk, UK
                [3 ]GRID grid.4991.5, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8948, Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health (NDWRH), , University of Oxford, ; Oxford, UK
                [4 ]GRID grid.410556.3, ISNI 0000 0001 0440 1440, Physiotherapy Research Unit, , Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, ; Oxford, UK
                Article
                4494
                10.1007/s00192-020-04494-z
                7459259
                32870341
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Funding
                Funded by: University of Oxford
                Categories
                Original Article

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