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Reading: Giving Voice to the Experiences of Rwandan Women With Urogenital Fistula

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Original Research

Giving Voice to the Experiences of Rwandan Women With Urogenital Fistula

Authors:

Allison Kay ,

Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI
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MD
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Arlene Nishimwe,

University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Kigali, Rwanda
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Brittany Star Hampton

Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI; Division of Urogynecology & Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, RI
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Abstract

Background

Urogenital fistula is a debilitating condition that women can develop following obstructed labor. The primary objective of this study was to reveal illness narratives of Rwandan women with urogenital fistula to appreciate their unique experiences. The secondary aim was to identify common themes that emerged when women discussed their experiences living with fistula.

Methods

Women presenting for urogenital fistula repair at Kibagabaga Hospital were asked to participate in the study. Eleven participants were asked questions designed to elicit their understanding of their condition and the social and emotional consequences of their fistula. All interviews were anonymous. Transcribed interviews were examined for relative themes to categorize responses into larger domains.

Findings

Common themes were identified from the interviews on topics of what barriers existed to having a successful delivery, the socioeconomic and psychosocial consequences of developing a fistula, and each woman's understanding of her fistula. Excerpts from patients' illness narratives illustrated these themes.

Conclusions

These narratives can be used to appreciate the variations in each woman's understanding of her medical condition and the changes that occurred in her life as a result of her fistula. Through patients' narratives, physicians can improve their appreciation of cultural differences to design targeted educational and preventive interventions.

How to Cite: Kay, A., Nishimwe, A. and Star Hampton, B., 2016. Giving Voice to the Experiences of Rwandan Women With Urogenital Fistula. Annals of Global Health, 81(5), pp.636–644. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2015.12.005
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Published on 29 Mar 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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