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The temporal effect of emotional distress on psychological and physical functioning in endometriosis: A 12-month prospective study


Dowding, C and Mikocka-Walus, A and Skvarc, D and Van Niekerk, L and O'Shea, M and Olive, L and Druitt, M and Evans, S, The temporal effect of emotional distress on psychological and physical functioning in endometriosis: A 12-month prospective study, Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being pp. 1-18. ISSN 1758-0854 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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2022. The Authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI: doi:10.1111/aphw.12415


Psychological factors of emotional distress and cognition have an important role in the understanding and management of endometriosis; however, their temporal relationship with key pain variables is not fully understood. This exploratory study sought to establish the temporal relationship between psychological and pain-related factors in a 12-month prospective study of 208 Australian women with endometriosis. Participants, aged 18-50 years and living in Australia, were recruited via social media and completed baseline (May 2019) and 12-month follow-up (June 2020) surveys. Participants who reported a diagnosis of endometriosis and menses in the past 12 months were included in the study. Structural equation modelling was used to determine the temporal effects of psychological and pain-related factors in endometriosis. In a covariate-adjusted model, baseline emotional distress was the only variable to predict pain catastrophizing (B=.24, p < .01), functional pain disability (B = .16, p < .05) and concomitant emotional distress (B = .55, p < .001) 12 months later, adjusting for age and chronic illness. Women who exhibit symptoms of distress may be at risk of poorer psychological and physical function at 12 months. Further research is required to understand the impact of psychological management early in the disease course.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:emotional distress, endometriosis, functional pain disability, pain catastrophizing, pain severity
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Clinical psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Women's and maternal health
UTAS Author:Van Niekerk, L (Dr Leesa Van Niekerk)
ID Code:154371
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2022-11-27
Last Modified:2023-01-16

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