Development of a conceptual framework for a new patient-reported outcome measure for pain in women following mesh surgery for pelvic floor disorders: a qualitative study

Maisie Ralphsmith, Susannah Ahern, Joanne Dean, Helen E. O’Connell, Rasa Ruseckaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Introduction and hypothesis: The Australasian Pelvic Floor Procedure Registry (APFPR) collects both clinical and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) data on women undergoing surgery using a prosthesis such as mesh for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The registry lacks a suitable instrument to assess pain in women following mesh surgery for SUI and POP. This qualitative study describes the views on pain following mesh surgery in women and clinicians through the development of a conceptual framework, which may inform the development of a new instrument for the APFPR. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with women following mesh surgery for POP and SUI (n=17) and clinicians (n=6) in Victoria, Australia. We sought to reveal aspects of any sort of pain after a pelvic floor procedure. Interviews covered sensation, region, continuity of pain, triggers, and the mode and method of administration for a new pain-specific patient-reported outcome measure. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: We identified the important components of pain felt by women with POP and SUI after surgery using mesh. From the seven themes outlined, a conceptual framework was developed compiling related components of pain into six specific domains. Conclusions: This study identifies the important components of pain felt by women following mesh surgery. It is hoped that the development of a pain-specific PROM, as supported by clinicians, will assist in the timely and appropriate diagnosis and management of POP and SUI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1541-1550
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Pain
  • Patient-reported outcome measures
  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Pelvic floor procedures
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Stress urinary incontinence

Cite this