Diagnosis experiences of adolescents with polycystic ovary syndrome: Cross-sectional study

Alexia S. Peña, Helena Teede, Erandi Hewawasam, Mary Louise Hull, Melanie Gibson-Helm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) report delayed diagnosis of the condition and receiving inadequate information at diagnosis. No studies have investigated the diagnosis experiences of adolescents with PCOS. Our objective was to investigate the adolescents' experiences of PCOS diagnosis and their concerns about the condition. Design: Cross-sectional study. Patient(s): Eighty-six adolescents (aged 13–19 years) were diagnosed with PCOS by a medical practitioner. Adolescents were recruited consecutively from paediatric and women's outpatient hospital clinics in South Australia and online PCOS support organisations in Australia and the United Kingdom (May 2017–June 2019). Measurements: PCOS diagnosis experience and information received at the time of diagnosis were evaluated using a validated questionnaire. Results: The majority of the adolescents (n = 67, 78%) were diagnosed with PCOS in less than 1 year from their first doctor's visit but 11 (13%) were diagnosed more than 2 years from that visit. Fifty-three adolescents (66%) saw 1–2 health professionals before the diagnosis was made. Forty-nine adolescents (57%) were satisfied with the overall diagnosis experience but adolescents were either dissatisfied or reported that the information was not mentioned after diagnosis in relation to lifestyle management (n = 47, 55%), long-term complications (n = 53, 62%) and emotional support and counselling (n = 65, 76%). Conclusions: The majority of adolescent girls with PCOS are receiving a timely diagnosis, but delayed diagnosis still occurs in a minority of adolescents. Current information provided at diagnosis is not meeting the needs of adolescents and is a lost opportunity for preventive healthcare at a critical transition to adult care period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-69
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jan 2022


  • adolescent health
  • patient care
  • patient satisfaction
  • polycystic ovary syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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