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Research Article Open Access
Introduction: Obstetric fistula is a serious injury resulting from obstructed labor causing significant maternal morbidity in women in developing countries. In order to maximize probability of successful surgical repair, it is important to identify women at-risk for poor surgical outcomes so that they can be given appropriate care. The goal of this study is to explore additional factors associated with fistula repair outcomes, as well as determine whether statistical modeling can be used to create a clinical decision-making tool for predicting a successful repair.
Methods: Medical records for 82 patients surgically treated for obstetric fistula in Benin were retrospectively reviewed to collect demographic and clinical information related to their condition and procedure. Individuals were grouped into 3 main outcomes: successful closure with continence, successful closure with residual incontinence, and failed repair. A backwards stepwise selection methodology and logistic regression were used to select factors and examine their associations with the surgical outcomes. Structural equation modelling was used to develop a prediction tool for successful repair.
Results: Location of fistula (vesicovaginal, vesicouterine, ureteroalvaginal, ureterouterine, and rectovaginal) (OR=7.6 (2.39, 24.36)), being married (OR=3.45 (1.09, 10.90)), parity of 1 to 3 (OR=2.99 (0.94, 9.49)), duration of fistula less than 10 years (OR=2.07 (0.88, 8.25)), and no previous repair attempt (OR=2.40 (0.79, 7.25)) were found to favor a successful closure with continence. We developed a prediction tool to sort women with obstetric fistula into 5 different categories based on probability of success. Our model suggests that marital status affects successful repair through a mediating factor not yet identified.
Conclusion: This study classified fistulous women into clinically relevant categories based on the probability of a successful repair. The results from the present study may inspire further research on identifying fistulas with poor prospect of success, which might benefit from more specialized care.
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Author(s): Bio Tamou Sambo, Celestin Missikpode, Kabibou Salifou, Adrien Hodonou, Emile Mensah, Alexandre Allode, Christian Johnson, Audrey Saftlas and Robert Wallace