Delineating sociodemographic, medical and quality of life factors associated with psychological distress in individuals with endometriosis

C. Sullivan-Myers, K. A. Sherman*, A. P. Beath, T. J. Duckworth, M. J. W. Cooper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION: What is the relationship between specific quality of life domains and depression, anxiety and stress in the endometriosis population?

SUMMARY ANSWER: Psychosocial domains of quality of life, such as a perception of social support and self-image, are more strongly associated with depression, anxiety and stress than pain and medical factors.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Prior research indicates a high prevalence of anxiety and depression in individuals with endometriosis. Pain is thought to be critical in the development of psychological distress, however prior research has investigated this association without consideration of psychosocial quality of life domains such as social functioning, perceived social support and self-image.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This study is a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data collected in a longitudinal study exploring psychological distress in endometriosis (n = 584).

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Individuals living with endometriosis participated in this study and were recruited via online platforms of community organizations and support groups. Demographic and medical information concerning endometriosis treatment and diagnosis was self-reported. Psychological distress and quality of life was measured using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), Endometriosis Health Profile-30 (EHP-30) and the Short Form Survey (SF-36v2). A series of linear regression analyses explored the relationship between specific quality of life domains and the primary outcomes of depression, anxiety and stress.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Approximately half of the participants in this sample reported moderate to severe anxiety, depression and stress. Quality of life domains, particularly perceived social support, social functioning and self-image, were more strongly associated with psychological distress than medical or demographic factors. Pain was associated with anxiety, but not depression or stress. A greater number of endometriosis symptoms was only associated with depression.

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: These data are cross-sectional and, therefore, causality cannot be inferred from this analysis. Information about endometriosis diagnosis and treatment was self-reported, and not verified against medical records.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: This study indicates that psychosocial factors may be more salient factors underlying depression, anxiety and stress in the endometriosis population than pain and medical factors. There is a need for interventions that target psychological distress in this population with a focus on the broader impact of endometriosis beyond pain and physical symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2170-2180
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Reproduction
Volume36
Issue number8
Early online date24 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • endometriosis
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • quality of life

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