Endometriosis and Negative Perception of the Medical Profession

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2020 Mar;42(3):248-255. doi: 10.1016/j.jogc.2019.08.034. Epub 2019 Dec 18.


Objective: This study sought to identify factors independently associated with a negative impression of the medical profession in patients with endometriosis who were presenting to a tertiary referral centre.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted on a prospective data registry between December 2013 and June 2017 at a tertiary referral centre for pelvic pain and endometriosis. The main outcome variable, negative impression about the medical profession, was measured with the four-item subscale of the Endometriosis Health Profile-30 and divided into three groups: no (0), some (1-8), and many (9-16) negative impressions. Patients with a surgical and histological diagnosis of endometriosis were included. Postmenopausal women were excluded. Bivariate analyses determined significant associations (P < 0.05) between variables from the registry and the main outcome. Variables with a significant association were put into ordinal logistic regression with sequential backwards elimination.

Results: Negative impression of the medical profession was independently associated with previous surgery that did not help symptoms (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.77; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-2.87; P = 0.021), presentation to an emergency room in the past 3 months (aOR 1.90; 95% CI 1.17-3.07; P = 0.009), and previous visits to a complementary health care provider (aOR 2.16; 95% CI 1.42-3.29; P < 0.0005), while controlling for an endometriosis pain-related morbidity composite variable.

Conclusion: Negative perception of the medical profession in women with endometriosis was associated with surgical treatment failure, emergency room use, and accessing complementary health care. Each identified factor offers an opportunity for intervention to improve the perception of the medical profession among women with endometriosis.

Keywords: Endometriosis; chronic pelvic pain; complementary medicine; emergency medicine; laparoscopic surgery; physician-patient relationship.