A life shaped by pain: Women and endometriosis

Huntington, Annette and Gilmour, Jean A. (2005) A life shaped by pain: Women and endometriosis. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14 9: 1124-1132. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01231.x

Author Huntington, Annette
Gilmour, Jean A.
Title A life shaped by pain: Women and endometriosis
Journal name Journal of Clinical Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2702
Publication date 2005-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01231.x
Volume 14
Issue 9
Start page 1124
End page 1132
Total pages 9
Editor R. Watson
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
Formatted abstract
Aims and objectives. The research aim was to explore women's perceptions of living with endometriosis, its effects on their lives and the strategies used to manage their disease.

Background. Symptomatic endometriosis significantly affects women's quality of life. Characteristically the condition causes severe pain and has a negative impact on the ability to work, on family relationships and self-esteem. There has been little discussion about women's experience of endometriosis in nursing literature.

Design. A qualitative research design informed by feminist research principles was chosen for this project.

Methods. Eighteen women agreed to take part in the research. The individual, audio taped interviews were semi-structured and interactive. The interviews were analysed using a thematic analysis approach.

Results. The dominant feature of data from the interviews was the experience of severe and chronic pain impacting on all aspects of life. Analysis related to pain resulted in four themes: manifestations of pain, the pain trajectory, intractable pain and controlling pain.

Conclusion. The diagnostic process typically took 5–10 years indicating that primary health care practitioners need higher levels of 'suspicion' for this condition. Case studies and problem-based scenarios focusing on endometriosis in health professional education programmes would enhance diagnostic skills and knowledge development. No formal pain management follow up after diagnosis and treatment meant women actively sought information from other sources as they made major lifestyle changes in the areas of activity and nutrition. Pain management services specifically for women with endometriosis would provide much needed support with this neglected aspect of the disease.

Relevance to clinical practice. This is a fertile area for the development of the Nurse Practitioner role which, also drawing on the considerable collective expertise of women with endometriosis, could provide significant information and support for women as they manage this highly complex condition.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2006 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 47 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 57 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 07:42:27 EST