Patients’ Knowledge of Female Pelvic Health and Related Educational Preferences

J. A. Reid, C. L. Templeman, D. A. Groneberg, D. Brueggmann, J. M. Jaque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Many patients have a rudimentary knowledge of their body’s anatomy and functioning. In a clinical setting, deficits in patient understanding can lead to miscommunication affecting patient care and satisfaction. Hence, this study aims to estimate a baseline of patient knowledge regarding pelvic anatomy and to assess their educational preferences in learning about related topics. For this cross-sectional study, we developed a 24-item assessment with questions related to pelvic anatomy, health, and function. The questionnaire was validated using feedback from anonymous community focus groups, and then distributed to English-speaking female patients at the Women’s Clinic of LAC + USC Medical Center (Los Angeles). The participant performance as a percentage-correct score on the anatomy assessment constituted our primary outcome. As secondary outcomes, educational preferences were inquired. Statistical analysis was conducted using two-sample t tests. The majority of our total sample of 269 were Hispanic (65.4 %) with a mean age of 35.3 years. We documented deficits in patient knowledge with a mean score of 66.1 % correct on anatomy assessment. Statistically significant lower scores were associated with less education and with Hispanic/Latino origin. Additionally, we found that while physicians have played a role in health education, women prefer to receive more education from their providers in the future. The deficits we identified indicate the pressing need to improve the pelvic health literacy of our patients. Understanding what our patients know and want to know is critical to effective communication and is fundamental to providing better clinical care in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Health literacy
  • Hispanic
  • Patient education
  • Pelvic anatomy
  • Women’s health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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