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Published in: Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 1/2024

Open Access 04-05-2024 | Lichen Sclerosus Et Atrophicus | General Gynecology

Patient satisfaction and sexual issues in vulvar lichen sclerosus treatment: a monocentric certified dysplasia unit survey analysis

Authors: Philipp Meyer-Wilmes, Julia Wittenborn, Tomáš Kupec, Rebecca Caspers, Elmar Stickeler, Séverine Iborra

Published in: Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics | Issue 1/2024

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Abstract

Objective

Vulvar lichen sclerosus (VLS) is an underestimated chronic disease. It can cause significant symptom burden and sexual dysfunction. This study aimed to evaluate patient satisfaction and current challenges in the management of VLS in a certified dysplasia unit, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods

This survey analyzed patients who had been diagnosed with VLS and treated at our DKG-certified dysplasia unit. The study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the University of Aachen. The questionnaire contained 43 questions on general treatment, diagnostic delays, disease education, psychologic and sexual issues, and specific questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaires were distributed between January 2021 and September 2023.

Results

This study included 103 patients diagnosed with VLS, who were treated at our certified dysplasia unit. Overall, 48% of the patients were satisfied with the success of the therapy. Most participants reported psychologic problems (36.8%), fear of cancer (53.3%), or sexual restrictions (53.3%). Among the patients, 38% were bothered by the regular application of topical cortisone. However, 72% were willing to undergo treatment for more than 24 months. The COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020 had a significant negative impact on general VLS care from the patient’s perspective (3.83/5 before vs. 3.67/5 after; p = 0.046). There was a general request for booklets to inform and educate the patients about their disease. Furthermore, the respondents demanded a telephone hotline to answer the questions and wished for follow-up visits via e-mail to cope better with their current situation.

Conclusion

This study highlights the need for more effective treatments for VLS and an increased awareness of psychologic and sexual distress. To ensure patient well-being and satisfaction, it is imperative to offer individualized care with adequate disease education in a team of specialists from various disciplines.
Literature
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go back to reference Kirtschig G, Krinberger M, Kreuter A et al (2023) EuroGuiDerm guideline lichen sclerosus. 1–128 Kirtschig G, Krinberger M, Kreuter A et al (2023) EuroGuiDerm guideline lichen sclerosus. 1–128
Metadata
Title
Patient satisfaction and sexual issues in vulvar lichen sclerosus treatment: a monocentric certified dysplasia unit survey analysis
Authors
Philipp Meyer-Wilmes
Julia Wittenborn
Tomáš Kupec
Rebecca Caspers
Elmar Stickeler
Séverine Iborra
Publication date
04-05-2024
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Published in
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics / Issue 1/2024
Print ISSN: 0932-0067
Electronic ISSN: 1432-0711
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-024-07519-w

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