Earlier this month, the EAU launched its patient information on benign prostatic enlargement (BPE). The extensive set contains information on all aspects of this prevalent condition and the texts are supported by custom-made illustrations.
The information is composed by a multidisciplinary group of international experts and contains the latest scientific evidence as presented in the EAU Guidelines. “EAU Patient Information responds to a real unmet need by providing unbiased and certified information that patients can rely upon,” said Prof. Andrea Tubaro (Rome, IT), co-author of EAU Patient Information on BPE.
Prof. Stavros Gravas (Larissa, GR), Chairman of the EAU Guidelines panel on Non-neurogenic Male LUTS who was also involved in the production of the Patient Information leaflets, addressed a common problem in the management of BPE: “It is well known that a significant proportion of men suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are not consulting their physicians.”
“On the other hand,” he continued, “patients are increasingly consulting other sources of information – mainly online. Because of the rapid development in medical and surgical treatments for the management of LUTS caused by BPE, there is an uncontrolled volume of constantly changing information on the internet which may confuse or misinform patients. This is particularly problematic when the information comes from low-quality or biased websites.” According to Tubaro, most medical information on the internet is “money driven or at best uncertified.”
EAU Patient Information on BPE provides patients and their families with reliable and unbiased information which is in line with the EAU Guidelines. The texts have been composed with great care by a diverse group of experts, consisting of urologists representing the Guidelines Office, ESUT, or the Young Academic Urologists; nurses from the EAUN; and patient representatives from Europa Uomo. The information is available in multiple languages to ensure that more people can benefit from it. The translations have been set up in collaboration with national urological societies.
Prof. Dimitar Mladenov (Sofia, BG), president of the Bulgarian Association of Endourology and ESWL (BAEU), coordinated the Bulgarian translation of EAU Patient Information and is happy to be a partner in this project.
“In Bulgaria, BPE is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in urology. Our patients want to be well informed about their condition, different treatment options, possible post-surgical complications, and their quality of life. BAEU considers this project to be of great importance for patients, urologists, general practitioners, and other medical specialists.”
According to Prof. Thorsten Bach (Hamburg, DE), co-author of Patient Information on BPE as well as Patient Information on Kidney and Ureteral Stones, “the aim of the EAU Patient Information initiative is to make our patients educated partners and to allow them to ask their doctor the right questions when it comes to making a treatment decision.”
“Especially for BPE, where management and treatment are changing so quickly, it is of utmost importance to provide understandable and unbiased information to our patients about the pros and cons of different treatment options,” he continued. Gravas stressed the long-term benefits: “The ultimate goal of encouraging a dialogue between patients and their physician is to promote better use of the healthcare system, and to improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction.”
To enable patients to become educated partners, EAU Patient Information on BPE offers clear and accurate medical information on the symptoms and diagnosis of the condition, various treatment options ranging from self-management to drugs or surgery, and lifestyle advice on how to cope with the consequences of the disease. A dozen custom-made illustrations accompany the texts. The information can be read online – including a mobile version of the website specially designed for smart phone users – or it can easily be downloaded and printed. All materials are written in plain and jargon-free language and medical terms are explained in an extensive glossary. The set also includes a poster of the male lower urinary tract, and a list of frequently asked questions about BPE with a brief answer.
“EAU Patient Information on BPE contributes to the education of patients and their families by using the existing scientific evidence as well as the expertise of urologists and nurse practitioners and presenting it in a patient-friendly format,” said Gravas. Tubaro concluded: “Surgeons and physicians sometimes forget the reason they exist is because there are patients out there who need our help. Being involved in this project is one of those opportunities to really make a difference for our patients.”
This article was published in the August/September issue of European Urology Today.