Closing the gap: a review of the evidence of social reintegration after obstetric fistula repair

Title: Closing the gap: a review of the evidence of social reintegration after obstetric fistula repair
Authors: Austin, Tujuanna
Baier, Kristina
Date: 2015-12-05
Abstract: Background. Obstetric fistula is the product of prolonged, obstructed and unattended labour, resulting in an abnormal connection between the vagina and rectum or between the vagina and bladder. This morbidity, concentrated in developing countries, leaves women with incontinence, shame, and social isolation, exacerbated by social, political, and economic contexts. With the erosion of social cohesion, women often face embarrassment, divorce, begging for livelihood and long-term negative sequelae. Objectives. This structured review examines the following research question: to what extent are treatment interventions effective at improving the social reintegration of women with obstetric fistulas living in developing countries? Methods. A search strategy was developed in collaboration with a research librarian. Keywords included: “obstetric fistula”; “social reintegration”; “developing country”; “treatment” and their conjugates. Peer-reviewed and grey literature sources were examined using databases accessible by the University of Ottawa, including Medline and Popline, as well as reputable websites such as Médecins Sans Frontières and the World Health Organization. A modified Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist was used to evaluate the strength of their evidence and recommendations. Results. A total of 154 articles were retrieved; 10 articles were sought for content review. The results included: 2 qualitative articles, 1 meta-analysis, 1 systematic review, 5 mixed-methods and 1 cross-sectional study. Conclusions. Although biomedical interventions can repair the physical manifestations of obstetric fistulas, simultaneous treatment of psychosocial symptoms is warranted. The results of this review highlight the lack of effectiveness of obstetric fistula treatment in ensuring social reintegration.
CollectionSciences de la santé - Affiches // Health Sciences - Research Posters