Next steps for improving patient knowledge of urinary tract infections

Opinion
Video

"I think these findings are critical in helping us craft educational resources that would be easily understood and easily disseminated by trusted health care providers," says Stephanie Gleicher, MD, MPH.

In this video, Stephanie Gleicher, MD, discusses the significance of the findings from the recent Urology paper “Assessment and Acquisition of Knowledge Regarding Urinary Tract infection among Adult Women in the United States.” Gleicher is a urologist with Northwell Health in Garden City, New York.

Transcription:

The study showed a preference for health care professionals as a source of UTI information, but also identified a perception of complex medical language as a barrier. How do you see these findings informing future patient education strategies?

I think these findings are critical in helping us craft educational resources that would be easily understood and easily disseminated by trusted health care providers. The goal would be to design materials that are evidence based, but comprehensible. And so like I said, this is really just the start of further research that we need to do to better understand how to craft those materials and distribute on a large scale.

Could you discuss what kind of information or format you envision would be most helpful for patients with recurrent UTIs?

Based on the feedback we received, information should be easily delivered by their health care providers in a clear, concise manner. I think, again, further qualitative research with maybe a more well-rounded group of women would be very helpful for us. The interesting thing that we also captured in our data was that really, almost everyone has a smartphone. And so that really opens the door to interactive app-based resources. But again, because we were using data from a web-based survey, we don't know if that reflects the general population and accessibility to technology. So I think, overall, it would probably be some sort of combination of hard-copy materials that you can leave the doctor's office with, as well as maybe web-based materials that would optimize information dissemination.

What are some next steps you see for improving public understanding and preventing UTIs?

I think the next step would be, again, additional research to better fine tune what effective UTI information dissemination looks like to a more generalizable audience. I think, though, on a small scale, as a provider who treats a lot of patients who suffer from recurrent infections, it's really just my job to promote evidence-based information about UTI prevention and management within my practice and community.

This transcription was edited for clarity.

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