Female genital cosmetic surgery: a cross-sectional survey exploring knowledge, attitude and practice of general practitioners
AuthorSimonis, M; Manocha, R; Ong, JJ
Source TitleBMJ Open
PublisherBMJ PUBLISHING GROUP
University of Melbourne Author/sOng, Jason
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSimonis, M., Manocha, R. & Ong, J. J. (2016). Female genital cosmetic surgery: a cross-sectional survey exploring knowledge, attitude and practice of general practitioners. BMJ OPEN, 6 (9), https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013010.
Access StatusOpen Access
OBJECTIVE: To explore general practitioner's (GP) knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) in Australia. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Australia. SAMPLE: GPs who attended a women's health seminar and GPs who subscribed to a non-governmental, national health professional organisation database that provides education to primary care professionals. METHOD: A national online survey of GPs was conducted for the 10-week period, starting 1 week prior and 2 months after a Women's Health seminar was held in Perth on 8 August 2015. 31 questions prompted GPs' knowledge, attitudes and practice in managing patients asking about FGCS. RESULTS: The survey was fully completed by 443 GPs; 54% had seen patients requesting FGCS. Overall, 75% (95% CI 71% to 79%) of GPs rated their knowledge of FGCS as inadequate and 97% (95% CI 94% to 99%) had been asked by women of all ages about genital normality. Of those who had seen patients requesting FGCS, nearly half (44%, 95% CI 38% to 51%) reported they had insufficient knowledge of risks of FGCS procedures and 35% (95% CI 29% to 41%) reported seeing females younger than 18 years of age requesting FGCS. Just over half (56%, 95% CI 51% to 60%) of the GPs felt that women should be counselled before making a referral for FGCS. More than half the GPs suspected psychological disturbances in their patients requesting FGCS such as depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties and body dysmorphic disorder. CONCLUSIONS: GPs see women of all ages presenting with genital anatomy concerns and in those who request FGCS, GPs often suspected a range of mental health difficulties. GPs require greater education to support their patients who request FGCS.
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