Patients’ Experiences With the Removal of a Ureteral Stent: Insights From In-depth Interviews With Participants in the USDRN STENTS Qualitative Cohort Study

for the NIDDK Urinary Stone Disease Research Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To describe the experiences of patients undergoing stent removal in the USDRN Study to Enhance Understanding of Stent-Associated Symptoms (STENTS), a prospective, observational cohort study of patients with short-term ureteral stent placement post-ureteroscopy. Methods: We conducted a qualitative descriptive study using in-depth interviews. Participants reflected on (1) painful or bothersome aspects of stent removal, (2) symptoms immediately after removal, and (3) symptoms in the days following removal. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using applied thematic analysis. Results: The 38 participants interviewed were aged 13-77 years, 55% female, and 95% White. Interviews were conducted 7-30 days after stent removal. Almost all participants (n = 31) described that they experienced either pain or discomfort during stent removal, but for most (n = 25) pain was of short duration. Many participants (n = 21) described anticipatory anxiety related to the procedure, and several (n = 11) discussed discomfort arising from lack of privacy or feeling exposed. Interactions with medical providers often helped put participants at ease, but also increased discomfort for some. Following stent removal, several participants described lingering pain and/or urinary symptoms, but these largely resolved within 24 hours. A few participants described symptoms persisting for more than a day post stent removal. Conclusion: These findings on patients’ experiences during and shortly after ureteral stent removal, particularly the psychological distress they experienced, identify opportunities for improvement in patient care. Clear communication from providers about what to expect with the removal procedure, and the possibility of delayed pain, may help patients adapt to discomfort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
JournalUrology
Volume178
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

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