Reintegration intervention for psychosocial and physical recovery after obstetric fistula

Investigator: Alison El Ayadi, ScD, MPH

Location(s): Uganda


Obstetric fistula is a debilitating birth injury that affects an estimated 2 - 3 million women, most in sub-Saharan Africa. Obstetric fistula has broad physical and psychosocial ramifications, and women with obstetric fistula are severely stigmatized and marginalized. Over the past decade, fistula surgery has become more accessible; however, surgical success ranges from 60 - 90% and many women experience persistent fistula-related physical and mental health sequelae which impact their ability to reintegrate to their families and communities. Unfortunately no parallel development of evidence-based reintegration programming has occurred.

This research project proposes the development and pilot test of a multi-component reintegration intervention to improve women's psychosocial and physical recovery after fistula. We first seek to conduct a systematic review of the published and grey literature on reintegration programming for fistula and analogous conditions. We then seek to develop an evidence-based post-surgical reintegration intervention for women and their households to improve women's psychosocial and physical recovery through iterative work with a group of key stakeholders, and to pilot test the intervention using a cohort- controlled design and measure the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary impact on post-surgical reintegration success.