Publication Date



hysterectomy, patient expectations, focus groups, qualitative data analysis, surgery, gynecology


Purpose: Hysterectomy is the most common nonobstetrical surgery for women in the United States. Few investigations comparing hysterectomy surgical approaches include patient-centered outcomes.

Methods: The study was performed at Henry Ford Health System (Detroit, MI) between February 2015 and May 2015. A total of 1,038 eligible women — those 18 to 65 years of age and who had an electronic medical record-documented Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code or an International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition (ICD-9) code of hysterectomy between December 2012 and December 2014 — were selected and recruited. A question guide was developed to investigate women’s experiences and feelings about the experience prior and subsequent to their hysterectomy. Analysis utilized the Framework Method. Study data were collected through structured focus groups with 24 posthysterectomy women in order to identify patient-centered outcomes to employ in a subsequent cohort study of hysterectomy surgical approaches. One pilot focus group and 5 additional focus groups were held. Qualitative data analysis, using data from coded transcripts of focus groups, was used to identify themes.

Results: Focus groups with women who previously had a hysterectomy revealed their pre- and posthysterectomy perceptions. Responses were grouped into topics of pre- and postsurgical experiences, and information all women should know. Themes derived from responses: 1) decision-making; 2) the procedure (surgical experience); 3) recovery; 4) advice to past self; and 5) recommendations to other women.

Conclusions: These analyzed data suggest a need for increased education and empowerment in the hysterectomy decision-making process, along with expanding information given for postoperative expectations and somatic changes that occur posthysterectomy. Findings about perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes of women having undergone hysterectomy could support health care providers deliver more patient-centered care.




July 17th, 2017


November 15th, 2017


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