Pelvic pain, the most common symptom of endometriosis, presents inconsistently in this condition. Variability may be due, not only to disparate symptoms, but also the diverse psychological aspects each woman brings. The subjective nature of pain means findings are difficult to assess. Recently, semi-quantitative questionnaires have been refined to provide a more objective evaluation of pain. Consensus has been achieved on the essential outcome measurements for the assessment of pain. How best to apply these to endometriosis-associated pain remain to be determined.
To identify a core set of validated questionnaires suitable for use in research and clinical practice that assess the physical, psychological and social impact of endometriosis-associated pain.
A qualitative appraisal was undertaken of questionnaires assessing general health, physical and emotional functioning. Endometriosis-specific and pain-specific questionnaires were also examined. Questionnaires were found via literature search and through consultation with pain content experts. Selection criteria focused on questionnaires with published normative data to aid interpretation of outcomes measurements.
Suitable questionnaires were identified; including general Quality of Life (QoL), Activity Interference and Mood Disturbance estimations. To capture the relationship between intensity of pain, decreased physical and emotional functionality and increased psychological contributors, a Pain Intensity scale and Pain Coping and Pain Catastrophising questionnaires were incorporated.
Accumulating evidence suggests that, in a chronic pain setting, the perception of pain influences response to treatment. Endometriosis may be thought of as a chronic pain condition. Quantifying the experience of pain and comparing this with normative data may help expand treatment options available to reduce pain-related distress and disability in women with endometriosis.