J Turner,1 RE Berger,2 M Von Korff,3 S Hauge,3
K Saunders,3 M Lowe4 I Rothman2
Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Rehabilitation
Medicine, and 2Urology, University of Washington School of Medicine, 3Center for Health Studies and 4Urology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound
Introduction Little is known about reasons for seeking
health care among men with chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). We report on information from the first 50 completed baseline interviews in an ongoing, prospective, longitudinal survey study of men who make health care
visits for pelvic pain.
Methods Weekly searches of the automated database of a large health maintenance organization identified recent visits of men ages 18-65 with diagnoses consistent with CPPS. These men
were screened by telephone to exclude those without pain in the lower abdomen, pelvic or genital area, or groin at the time of the visit, those who had back or rectal pain only, and those who had medical conditions that
might cause pelvic pain. Of 75 men contacted and eligible to participate, 50 (67%) completed baseline interviews, which included questions about worries and reasons for seeking care.
Results During the
interview (M = 27 days after the index visit), the reasons for the index visit most commonly reported were to obtain: information about symptom cause (84%), pain relief (80%), reassurance (70%), diagnostic tests (56%),
relief of urinary symptoms (56%), and information about how long symptoms would last (52%). The most commonly reported worries/concerns that men had at the time of the visit were: the problem might get worse if not
treated (84%), they might have an infection (82%), the symptoms might not resolve (64%), they can't do customary activities (56%), and they might have cancer (52%). At an average of 27 days after the index visit, 42% of
the men said they were still worried they might have cancer, 38% were still concerned that they couldn't do all their normal activities, and 64% rated their current worry about their symptoms as moderate or greater
(> 4 on 0-10 scale).
Conclusion Many men's worries and concerns are not resolved in health care visits for CPPS. The findings suggest areas for health care providers to address in such visits.
(Supported by the Paul G Allen Foundation for Medical Research)