Quality of Life in Women with Endometriosis: An Integrative Review

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2018 Mar;27(3):399-408. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2017.6397. Epub 2017 Oct 24.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to conduct an integrative review of the health-related quality of life (QoL) burden in women with endometriosis.

Materials and methods: This integrative review was carried out by consulting the BIREME/MEDLINE databases through July 2017. We searched for articles published in the past 12 years using the MeSH terms "quality of life" and "endometriosis" and its representations in Portuguese and English.

Results: Database search yielded 367 records, and eight additional records were identified through other sources. After analyzing articles based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, rigor and methodological evidence, 26 publications constituted the final corpus of our analysis. Generic instruments most commonly used to assess QoL included the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment-bref (WHOQOL-bref); the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12), and the Duke Health Profile, among others. Disease-specific questionnaires were also used, and two studies collected qualitative data. Endometriosis had a negative impact in all domains of QoL, which was more associated to symptoms than to the diagnosis per se. It also negatively affected sleep quality and perceived stress. Impact had age-related differences in most studies, and was not related to endometriosis staging.

Conclusions: Endometriosis negatively affects QoL. A consensus must be reached as to which QoL instrument should be used to make studies comparable.

Keywords: SF-36; endometriosis; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endometriosis / physiopathology*
  • Endometriosis / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Quality of Life / psychology*