Problems women patients experience in the medical encounter for chronic pelvic pain: a New Zealand study

Health Care Women Int. 1995 Nov-Dec;16(6):509-19. doi: 10.1080/07399339509516206.


Women who have used the New Zealand health services for chronic pelvic pain have reported problems with diagnosis, communication with the doctor, lack of information, and inappropriate treatment. Six focus groups were conducted in which women talked about their experiences of using the health services for chronic pelvic pain. A discourse analysis of this material provided a conceptual basis for understanding the key dimensions structuring women's experience. Themes of particular concern were that (a) doctors negated the woman's own experience of the pain and its meaning to her and this negation affected her ability to take responsibility for her condition; (b) the medical "extraction" of symptoms through technology overshadows the woman's discursive interpretation of, and voicing of, her symptoms; and (c) the concept of "pelvic pain without organic pathology" implies an absence that becomes filled with the specter of neurosis or psychological problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • New Zealand
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pelvic Pain / diagnosis
  • Pelvic Pain / etiology
  • Pelvic Pain / psychology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*