Overview

This research project is a partnership to improve care for patients with vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) through shared decision making (SDM).  Wisconsin Research and Education Network (WREN) is collaborating with Duke Primary Care Research Consortium, Interstate Post-Graduate Medical Association, Emmi Solutions, Inc. and A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resource Center.

VulvoVaginal Atrophy, or “VVA” for short, is also called genitourinary syndrome of menopause.  VVA is a condition where the skin of a woman’s vagina and vulva becomes thin, dry and irritated. VVA happens after menopause, when her body stops making estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone that keeps skin of the genitals healthy and producing its own moisture.  VVA can cause a variety of annoying symptoms.  For more information see the resources below.

Shared Decision Making or SDM for short, is a way for doctors and other clinicians to work with patients to review treatment options for medical problems.   SDM is a process of making medical decisions that involves a two-way exchange between patient and clinician.  The clinician:

  1. Helps the patient define their values and preferences as they relate to the decision(s) to be made.
  2. Helps the patient understand what decision(s) need to be made.
  3. Helps the patient apply their goals, values and preferences to decision(s).
  4. Ensures that the patient understands the potential harms and benefits of available treatment options.
  5. Helps the patient understand the consequences of her decision(s).

The project team has developed a variety of documents and other resources for clinicians and patients to raise awareness and facilitate the treatment decision process.

Patient Resources

VVA- Vulvovaginal Atrophy Brochure
This is an easy-to-read trifold brochure with general information about VVA for patients and their partners.

VVA- Patient Information Sheets
There are 2 versions of this 5 page, easy-to-read patient friendly handout about VVA.  One for a general audience and one specifically for women who are breast cancer survivors.  They include basic information about the cause of VVA and common symptoms.  They also have information about treatments including:

  • Healthy lifestyle choices
  • Lubricants and moisturizers
  • Massage or stimulation
  • Prescription medicines

Vulvovaginal Atrophy Patient Information Sheet (Updated: March 2016)

VulvoVaginal Atrophy for the Woman with Breast Cancer (Updated: May 2015)

VVA – Decision Aid
This animated computer program, Treatment Options for VulvoVaginal Atrophy, goes through a definition of vulvovaginal atrophy, potential harms and benefits of various treatment options and asks questions to help the woman clarify her goals, values and preferences.  The viewer can make notes along  the way and print out the notes and answers to the questions at the end.

The video is available in English and Spanish and takes about 45 minutes to complete. One can pause the program for a few minutes, but will have to start over if you leave the program or stop viewing for more than 15 minutes.

The video must be viewed on a desktop or laptop computer.  It is not optimized for tablets or mobile devices.


Clinician Resources

VVA and Shared Decision Making Clinician Education Modules

VVA Clinician Information summary
This is a 1 page card that can be downloaded and printed.  It has a summary of non-prescription and prescription treatment options, recommended lubricants and moisturizers, medication doses and other useful information.

VVA Electronic Health Record Documentation Tools
This document includes a set of patient questions that could be used to screen for VVA symptoms and easy to read patient instructions for various VVA treatment options.

VVA Poster
This poster can be used to raise patient awareness that VVA is common for post-menopausal women.  It can be downloaded for printing and then posted around a medical office.  It is commonly posted in exam rooms and on the back of the door in restrooms.

VVA- Vulvovaginal Atrophy Brochure
This is an easy to read trifold brochure with general information about VVA for patients and their partners.

VVA- Patient Information Sheets
There are 2 versions of this 5 page, easy to read patient friendly handout about VVA.  One for a general audience and on specifically for women who are breast cancer survivors.  They include basic information about the cause of VVA and common symptoms.  They also have information about treatments including:

  • Healthy lifestyle choices
  • Lubricants and moisturizers
  • Massage or stimulation
  • Prescription medicines

Vulvovaginal Atrophy Patient Information Sheet (Updated: March 2016)

VulvoVaginal Atrophy for the Woman with Breast Cancer (Updated: May 2015)

 VVA – Decision Aid
This animated computer program, Treatment Options for VulvoVaginal Atrophy, goes through a definition of vulvovaginal atrophy, potential harms and benefits of various treatment options and asks questions to help the woman clarify her goals, values and preferences.  The viewer can make notes along the way and print out the notes and answers to the questions at the end.

The video is available in English and Spanish and takes about 45 minutes to complete.

It must be viewed on a desktop or laptop computer.  It is not optimized for tablets or mobile devices.

Funding

Funding for this project was provided through an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer.  Pfizer had no input into the appearance or content of any of the project materials.