IHO joins top team studying impact of surgery on women’s health
David Churchman
/ Categories: Specialist Services

IHO joins top team studying impact of surgery on women’s health

Pelvic floor disorders inflict a substantial burden on women, their families, healthcare providers and society, yet it remains unclear what the best treatments are for these conditions.

Many women have had surgical intervention, using mesh (a synthetic material used to reinforce natural tissues in the pelvic floor). However, this has led to wide-scale reports of adverse outcomes and harmful effects after the surgery, affecting quality of life.

Inspired by the patient accounts and campaigns reporting harm, the 2020 Cumberlege Mesh Report ‘First Do No Harm’ was published, describing how mesh surgery for prolapse and incontinence had resulted in serious adverse outcomes for women across the UK.
In response to this, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), issued a commissioned call for a team to develop a new PROM to measure the impacts of these surgical treatments.

Now a team of researchers including InSpired Health Outcomes and led by Leeds Beckett University, has secured funding from the NIHR towards a £1.6m, three-year study into complications from mesh surgery. The study (named APPRAISE) aims to properly understand and assess women’s full range of experiences following surgery for prolapse, incontinence and mesh complications.

Leading the study is Georgina Jones, Professor of Health Psychology in the School of Humanities and
Social Sciences at Leeds Beckett University: “We are delighted to be delivering this major piece of
research which will help improve the lives of many thousands of women all over the world and give
them a better opportunity to report the impact of surgery for prolapse, incontinence and mesh
complications on their daily lives and wellbeing.

“Eventually, this PROM will be adopted by a new surgical registry established by NHS England. It will
be used across the UK as part of routine clinical care to generate sufficiently large datasets to audit
mesh safety and answer pressing research questions relating to the efficacy of surgical treatments, as
self-reported by women living with prolapse, incontinence and mesh complications.”

At IHO, we feel privileged to be involved in this important study. Our Lead Associate Consultant, Professor Crispin Jenkinson, will provide expert guidance on the design, development, testing and validation of the questionnaire. Our founder, Dr David Churchman, will lead the investigation into the translatability of the PROM, for use in other territories and other languages and cultures, both abroad and within the UK. We will look at an early version of the questionnaire to assess its acceptability and ensure it will easily and accurately translate for use in other territories.

Also involved in the collaboration are Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University of Oxford, University of Aberdeen, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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