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Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) is a chronic and progressive condition that affects a significant number of menopausal women. This recently coined term encompasses a myriad of urogenital symptoms that are directly associated with the loss of estrogen. Women who are afflicted by GSM can experience genitourinary discomfort, pain, and incontinence and may be at higher risk for considerable clinical complications. As a result, GSM can impact a woman’s physical, emotional, social, and financial well-being. Additionally, GSM can lead to increased medical costs and elevated resource utilization and healthcare burden. Despite the far-reaching impact of this syndrome, however, it remains largely underdiagnosed and undertreated. The reasons for this treatment gap are multifactorial and include social stigma related to menopause, lack of awareness of relationship between hypoestrogenic state and symptoms, limited provider education on GSM and its management, and generally unwarranted safety concerns regarding treatment options. Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause causes considerable and far-reaching harm and needs to be more effectively managed at all healthcare levels.
To help reduce the GSM treatment gap among primary care providers in a large South Florida healthcare system, a quality improvement (QI) project was designed to enhance their awareness, knowledge, and screening of this condition. An evidence-based educational video presentation was created and utilized to inform clinicians about GSM’s impact and the different treatment modalities that are currently available for its stepwise, judicious management. Additionally, a screening tool was introduced during the presentation to help facilitate identification of GSM. Pretest and posttest surveys helped quantify the change in clinicians’ awareness, knowledge, and screening of GSM. The scores of these surveys were statistically analyzed and compared. The results pointed to a significant increase in knowledge and screening following the intervention. The small size of this study may limit its relevance, but points to the value of provider education in GSM management and, in turn, the enhancement of postmenopausal women’s health.
Diaz, Patricia, "Effectiveness of an Informational Video-Assisted Presentation on Primary Care Provider Awareness, Knowledge, and Screening of Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: A Quality Improvement Project" (2022). Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing Student Projects. 104.