OBJECTIVES: To identify the personal and professional relations of women experiencing gynaecological alarm symptoms, to analyse if involving a personal relation is related to healthcare-seeking with gynaecological alarm symptoms, and to analyse if having an available social network is associated with involvement of this relation.
DESIGN: Web-based, population-based, cross-sectional questionnaire survey.
SETTING: The general population in Denmark.
PARTICIPANTS: The study invited 100 000 individuals randomly drawn from the Danish Civil Registration System. Pregnant women and women who did not answer relevant questions about social network were excluded. A total of 5053 women who experienced at least one gynaecological alarm symptom were included in the study. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOMES: (1) Personal and professional relations that women experiencing gynaecological alarm symptoms involve; (2) the association between involving a personal relation and healthcare-seeking; and (3) the association between having an available social network and involvement of this relation.
RESULTS: The general practitioner (GP) was the most involved professional relation, while the spouse/partner was the most involved personal relation. When experiencing gynaecological alarm symptoms, more than 50% of women did not involve a professional relation and 20% did not involve a personal relation. For all four gynaecological alarm symptoms, the odds of involving the GP were higher in the oldest age group. Women were two to seven times more likely to involve their GP if they had personal relation involvement. No statistically significant association was found between having an available social network and involving the GP.
CONCLUSION: Involving a personal relation in healthcare-seeking was associated with increased involvement of the GP, who consequently was the most involved professional relation when experiencing gynaecological alarm symptoms. Spouse/partner was the most involved personal relation. The oldest age group had the highest odds of involving the GP. No association was found between having an available social network and involving the GP.