Women in Mississippi Undergoing Hysterectomies

Social Problem. Research Problem

  • Social Problem: reports of insufficient information provided to women prior to hysterectomy and the lack of a law that would support informed consent. The psychological and physiological outcomes of underinformed women undergoing hysterectomies can be negative.
  • Research Problem: women’s experiences can help to examine the issue in greater detail, but there is little research on the topic, especially with respect to particular states (e.g., Mississippi).

Research Design

Theoretical. Conceptual Framework

  • Research Design: qualitative: a small sample of women who underwent hysterectomy shared their perceptions and experiences through semi-structured interviews.
  • Theoretical/Conceptual Framework: the Health Belief Model. The primary tenet: patient education (information) enables improved health-related behaviors (e.g., choices related to hysterectomy).

Research Questions. Hypotheses

  • What are the perceptions of women who have undergone hysterectomy without prior awareness of comprehensive informed consent, which includes other treatment options?
  • What are the themes that emerge from the lived experiences of women who have undergone hysterectomy in the absence of comprehensive informed consent law?

Participants and/or Data Sources

  • Participant selection: women who underwent hysterectomies and were aged 20-40 were recruited.
  • Sample size: 10.
  • Recruitment methods: women from a support group for those who underwent hysterectomy were recruited (convenience sampling). Snowball sampling was used for two more participants (they were the acquaintances of the already recruited women).

Data Collection Methods

  • Approach: semi-structured interviews (ensured the structure but allowed for flexibility when necessary).
  • Tool: self-developed; piloted with two women from the support group. The results were not included in the research. The pilot showed that the tool could perform its function.
  • Procedures: individual meetings in a private library room (about 1 hour); informed consent; no follow-ups.

Data Analysis Methods

  • Approach: thematic analysis (a well-established method for qualitative research).
  • Steps: getting familiar with the data, finding individual codes, reviewing codes and developing themes, refining themes (triangulation: a Nvivo specialist helped to refine the themes).
  • Software: Nvivo 12.