An innovative pain management program for women with endometriosis who are undergoing surgery is being developed thanks to a grant from The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group
The program aims to help ease the pain experienced by women with endometriosis and take away the anxiety from their upcoming laparoscopy procedure.
Dr Jane Chalmers from the University of South Australia is developing the program using an intervention called ‘pain science education’ which helps patients better understand the neuro-biology of their pain.
“Preliminary studies on pain science education for pelvic pain have shown it reduces pain ratings, pelvic floor symptoms and catastrophising; and improves coping and knowledge of pain,” Dr Chalmers said.
“Laparoscopic surgery is considered gold-standard for the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, however about 20 per cent of women report no change or worsening pain scores post-laparoscopy and around 51 per cent will undergo at least one repeat laparoscopy over a 10-year period.
“This funding generously provided by THRF Group will help us design a pain science education and self-management package to be trialled on women with clinically diagnosed endometriosis before their laparoscopy.”
Endometriosis is a painful, chronic condition that can affect a woman’s fertility, caused when tissue similar to that which normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus on other organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the intestines.
It is estimated that 11 per cent, or more than 830,000 Australian women suffer from endometriosis at some point in their life, with the disease often starting as a teenager.
The grant is part of a competitive Translational Grant Round offered by THRF Group, which CEO Paul Flynn said focused on disease areas which had an unmet need.
“Endometriosis is an area of high burden for many women, affecting their day-to-day activities, quality of life as well as their ability to get pregnant,” Paul said.
“Pain management is a priority for endometriosis and new treatments and programs are desperately needed. We look forward to updating our supporters on this project as it progresses.”