Introduction and hypothesis: We hypothesized that knowledge of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and patient information-seeking preferences are the same in the two capital cities.
Methods: First-visit patients were recruited at tertiary referral urogynaecological units in Vienna (137) and in Moscow (112). A 16-item scale was used to assess the patient knowledge of POP. The 16 items comprised 12 specific items taken from the Prolapse and Incontinence Knowledge Questionnaire (PIKQ) and four added items. The preliminary psychometric assessment of the knowledge scales in German and Russian was performed in the Vienna and in Moscow centres.
Results: The mean total knowledge scores in patients in Vienna and in Moscow were not significantly different: 9.7 ± 3.5 vs. 9.8 ± 2.9 (p = 0.92). Patients in Vienna were more likely to answer questions about the pathogenesis of POP correctly. Patients in Moscow achieved higher scores for items assessing knowledge about the diagnosis of POP. Women in the two study groups equally preferred to obtain information about POP from medical specialists (72 % and 82 %; p = 0.61), followed by friends and family for patients in Vienna (25 %), and the internet for patients in Moscow (23 %). Patients in Vienna were more likely to use printed sources (18 % and 7 %; p = 0.001) than patients in Moscow.
Conclusions: The mean level of knowledge of POP did not differ between patients in Vienna and patients in Moscow. The differences between the specific knowledge domains might be explained by different cultural preferences for seeking health information and by the range of the information sources available.
Keywords: Information-seeking behaviour; Knowledge of POP; Pelvic organ prolapse; Validation of the questionnaire.