A randomized clinical trial to compare two different approaches in women with chronic pelvic pain

Obstet Gynecol. 1991 May;77(5):740-4.


One hundred six patients with chronic pelvic pain were randomly allocated to one of two treatment groups. In the standard-approach group, organic causes of pelvic pain were excluded first and diagnostic laparoscopy was routinely performed. If no somatic cause could be found, attention was given to other causes such as psychological disturbances. In the second group an integrated approach was chosen. From the beginning equal attention was devoted to somatic, psychological, dietary, environmental, and physiotherapeutic factors. In this group, laparoscopy was not routinely performed. Both groups were similar with respect to clinical characteristics of the patients and the severity of their pain as assessed by various pain parameters. Postcoital pain was reported by 27% of the patients. Twenty percent of the patients had had negative sexual experiences such as childhood sexual abuse or rape. Evaluation of the pain 1 year after the institution of treatment revealed that the integrated approach improved pelvic pain significantly more often than the standard approach for three out of four pain parameters (P less than .01). Laparoscopy played no important role in the treatment of pelvic pain. It is concluded that equal attention to both organic and other causative factors from the beginning of therapy is more likely to result in a reduction of pelvic pain than is a standard approach.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / complications
  • Chronic Disease
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / complications
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Management
  • Pelvis / physiopathology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rape