Implementation of uterine artery embolization for symptomatic fibroids in the Netherlands: an inventory and preference study

Annefleur M de Bruijn, Jolijn Huisman, Wouter J K Hehenkamp, Paul N M Lohle, Jim A Reekers, Anne Timmermans, Andries R H Twijnstra

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The Dutch national guideline on heavy menstrual bleeding was updated and published in 2013. It recommended (for the first time) that uterine artery embolization (UAE) should be part of counseling of women with symptomatic fibroids. We aimed to evaluate the implementation of UAE for symptomatic uterine fibroids in the Netherlands and to investigate gynecologists preference and other influential factors.

METHODS: The primary outcome was to examine the UAE/hysterectomy ratio before and after introduction of the 2013 guideline by the use of annual hospital reports. The secondary outcome assessed factors that could influence implementation by means of a questionnaire to gynecologists.

RESULTS: A total of 29/30 (97%) UAE+ hospitals and 36/52 (69%) UAE- hospitals sent their annual reports. The UAE/hysterectomy percentages in 2012, 2013 and 2014 were 7,0%, 7.0% and 6.9%, respectively. Regarding the questionnaire, the response rates were 88% and 91%, respectively. In both groups we observed a high self-perceived tendency for UAE counseling (90% versus 70%, p = .001). Approximately 50% of gynecologists from UAE- hospitals indicate they have insufficient information about UAE for appropriate counseling and 40% doubts the effectiveness of UAE. Furthermore, in the majority of gynecologists some 'urban myths' about the effectiveness and side-effects of UAE seem to persevere.

CONCLUSION: Adding UAE as a treatment option to the national guideline did not change the number of performed UAEs for symptomatic fibroids. It might be useful to develop an option grid in order to offer appropriate, independent counseling and encourage shared decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18
JournalCVIR endovascular
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019

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