Glasgow Caledonian University researchers in the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP RU) are running pelvic floor dysfunction workshops for clinical staff in the Pacific Islands.

Professor Suzanne Hagen, Deputy Director of the NMAHP RU in the University’s Research Centre for Health (ReaCH), said workshops have already been held in Samoa and there are plans to run more in Fiji and Solomon Islands later this year.

She explained: “The workshops in Samoa are part of our Pacific Island network (PIPELINE: An international network to promote awareness and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction in the Pacific Islands) activity funded by Academy of Medical Sciences GCRF programme.

“These workshops were developed because there is very little awareness of female pelvic floor dysfunction in Samoa. Neither women nor healthcare professionals have access to good information. In the first instance, we wanted to provide education for clinical staff practising in Samoa so that they know how to recognise, assess and treat these conditions.”

The team has also developed an educational video on the topic in Samoan and English which is being made widely available for both women and healthcare professionals.;

The workshops, which were to be delivered face-to-face, were moved online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Clinical experts from the UK and New Zealand presented to attendees via zoom over two days, and along with the wider team, took part in practical and Q&A sessions.

A total of 23 healthcare professionals from the two main Samoan islands of Savaii and Upolu attended including 11 registered nurses, 11 registered nurse midwives, and one physiotherapist.

The feedback from participants on the workshops in Samoa was positive and will be used by the team to plan the subsequent workshops in other Pacific Islands this year.