The unit is engaged in some researches in paediatric and adolescent gynaecology. These involve clinical, evaluation of menstrual problems of adolescents, management of ovarian cyst and congenital genital tract anomaly. The aim is to promote the awareness of paediatric and adolescent gynaecology in Hong Kong and contribute to the care of children and adolescents with gynaecological needs.

Attitudes of women or girls on using combined oral contraceptive pills

Combined oral contraceptive pills (COC) are effective treatments for menstrual problems and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). However the usage of COC in Chinese is low. We are now investigating the acceptance of COC in teenagers and their mothers. We try to understand their attitude and the reasons affecting the acceptance and refusal of use of COC. This may help clarifying the misconceptions in health education in future.

Chinese validation of a Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire (PCOSQ) for women and girls with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Studies have shown that PCOS is a major cause of psychological morbidity and has a significant negative impact on their health related quality of life. Various generic QOL questionnaires have been used to assess women with PCOS. However, up till now, there is no formally validated disease-specific questionnaire validated in the Chinese population. The polycystic ovary syndrome questionnaire (PCOSQ) was developed by Cronin et al in 1998 and contains 26 items that measure 5 PCOS-related subscales namely emotional disturbances, hirsutism, weight difficulties, infertility and menstrual difficulties. We are currently developing a Chinese validated version of the PCOSQ. We believe it will be useful to help clinicians evaluate the impact of PCOS on the QOL of Chinese women and adolescents; and also serve as an evaluation tool for assessing the impact of treatment on PCOS and also facilitate further research on PCOS.

Ovarian conservation for girls or women with torsion ovarian cyst

Torsion ovarian cyst is an acute complication of ovarian cyst. Oophorectomy, removing the involved ovary, is commonly performed. This may affect the future fertility of the young woman. Both the team and Dept concern about the fertility potential in girls or young women. We now, as far as possible, focus on fertility preserving, ovarian conservation surgery, for girls or women with torsion ovarian cyst.

Studies on menstrual problems of adolescents

Menstrual disorder is the most common gynaecological problem of adolescents. A survey of more than 5000 girls from 10 secondary schools had been performed. The prevalence of menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea and menstrual symptoms were 18%, 69% and 38%, respectively. The prevalence of menstrual symptoms and dysmenorrhea increased with gynaecological age. Although one in eight girls reported having been absent from school, only a minority had sought medical care.

Menstrual disorder is also the most common cause for adolescents consulting the paediatric and adolescent gynaecology clinic. Overall, 47% presented with menorrhagia, 27% secondary amenorrhoea, 12% dysmenorrhea, 11% oligomenorrhoea and 3% had primary amenorrhoea. Significant diagnoses included congenital genital tract anomalies, premature ovarian failure, anorexia nervosa, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. On longitudinal follow, 24% of them had abnormal menstrual cycles 4 years later. Adolescents who were screened out with a definitive diagnosis after initial assessment were at low risk of persistent long menstrual cycles at follow-up. Adolescent menstrual disorders should not be ignored.

Studies on women’s and adolescents’ attitude towards HPV vaccination in Hong Kong

Before the implementation of HPV vaccination in Hong Kong, our unit has conducted research on women’s and teenager’s attitude towards HPV vaccination.

Women’s attitude on accepting HPV vaccination for their daughters was evaluated before and after reading an information pamphlet. The pamphlet increased the self-perceived knowledge on cervical cancer and HPV of the women and had a positive influence on their acceptance of HPV vaccination for their daughters.

Adolescents, aged 12 to 19 years, were also studied for their attitude towards HPV vaccination. Before reading an education pamphlet, their intention to receive the vaccination was positively correlated with their knowledge, health belief and belief in who should receive the vaccine but negatively correlated with their belief about other people would approve of their vaccination (normative belief). After reading, there was an increase in their knowledge on the related topic. Their health belief and belief in who should receive the vaccine became more positive, but the normative belief was more negative.