Van Niekerk, L and Johnstone, L and Matthewson, M, Predictors of self-compassion in endometriosis: the role of psychological health and endometriosis symptom burden, Human Reproduction pp. 1-10. ISSN 0268-1161 (2021) [Refereed Article]
STUDY QUESTION:What is the relationship between self-compassion, endometriosis-related symptoms and psychological health in women with symptomatic endometriosis?
SUMMARY ANSWER: Decreased self-compassion is associated with increased psychological distress, extended diagnostic delay and varies according to individual endometriosis-symptom profile.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Existing research indicates that endometriosis is associated with reduced psychological health and varied endometriosis-related symptom profiles. Examining the level of self-compassion reported by women with endometriosis is important as greater self-compassion has been found to improve psychological well-being in several chronic health populations.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This study utilized a cross-sectional survey design to explore the relationship between selfcompassion, psychological health and endometriosis-related symptoms (n ¼ 318).
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Women with a self-reported diagnosis of endometriosis were recruited via online advertising through social media platforms. Demographic and endometriosis-specific information (e.g. disease stage, diagnostic delay, symptom experience) was collected in addition to psychological health and self-compassion. Psychological health was measured by the PROMIS Emotional Distress and Anxiety short forms and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-15). Self-compassion was measured by the Self-Compassion Scale (26-item). Independent t-tests, bivariate correlations and linear regression analyses explored the relationship between specific endometriosis-related symptoms, psychological health and self-compassion.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Hierarchical multiple regression indicated that psychological symptoms accounted for the greatest variance in levels of self-compassion in the current sample. Depression and anxiety were found to be significant negative predictors of self-compassion. Notable symptoms that were significant in the final model were the presence of dysmenorrhea, lower back pain, dyspareunia, pain after sexual intercourse, fatigue and nausea.
LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: The cross-sectional nature of the findings prevents direct findings of causality. The information pertaining to endometriosis was self-report in nature and was not medically verified.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: These preliminary findings indicate the importance of clinical interventions aimed at enhancing self-compassion and the importance of individual case conceptualization and treatment planning based on endometriosis-related symptomatic profiles.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||endometriosis, self-compassion, symptom burden, psychological wellbeing|
|Research Group:||Clinical and health psychology|
|Research Field:||Clinical psychology|
|Objective Group:||Clinical health|
|Objective Field:||Human pain management|
|UTAS Author:||Van Niekerk, L (Dr Leesa Collinson)|
|UTAS Author:||Johnstone, L (Miss Lucy Johnstone)|
|UTAS Author:||Matthewson, M (Dr Mandy Matthewson)|
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