Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) affects men and women of all ages and can lead to a wide variety of psychosocial and somatic health problems. Even though CPP is quite common, this health problem is not well understood. CPP is often associated with shame for those struggling with it. It is therefore important to lift both focus, status, and knowledge for this patient group. We need screening instruments to identify these patients at an earlier stage and tools to diagnose them better. Only then can we offer better management and treatment. This multidisciplinary study is based on data from four large regional population-based studies covering youth to old age and combines clinical and social science research in close partnership with patients, patient organizations, and welfare services.
To improve the identification of women with chronic pelvic pain, we will validate a digital body-map of pain - The Graphical Index of Pain – as a screening tool for CPP. To improve the clinical diagnostic quality of CPP, we will test a novel standardized pelvic examination protocol for women. The aim is that this protocol may be implemented in future clinical guidelines. We will study whether CPP is associated with increased localized or widespread pain sensitivity. To understand the individual burden of CPP in women, we will perform in-depth interviews to learn about coping strategies and disease experiences, and we will use registry data to assess quality of life. In partnership with our work- and welfare administration we will assess the societal burden of chronic pelvic pain related to work absence. We will work closely together with our user panel and Norway's largest women's organization, the Norwegian Women's Public Health Association (NKS) to ensure that women’s voices are heard, and our results widely broadcasted.
The economic and societal burden of chronic pain through long-term sickness absence and disability is well known. Chronic pelvic pain is a common yet under-diagnosed health problem affecting women of all ages. Chronic pelvic pain results in a wide variety of psychosocial and somatic health problems. Still, the knowledge gap is huge. Chronic pelvic pain is fortified with shame for those struggling with it. Working with chronic pain conditions scores low on prestige among health care professionals with a pressing need for lifting visibility and research status. Pain related to the pelvic area is not well understood, validated screening- and diagnostic tools are lacking and management options are limited. The planned multidisciplinary study is based on register data from three large regional population-based studies covering youth to old age and combines clinical and social science research in close partnership with patients, patient organizations and welfare services.
The project will broadly map individual and societal burden of chronic pelvic pain in women. To improve the recognition of women with chronic pelvic pain, we will validate an easy-access screening tool using self-report through a body-map of pain. To improve the diagnostic quality once a woman is referred, we will test a novel standardized pelvic examination protocol for women with chronic pelvic pain. This protocol may serve as a classification- and scoring system to be implemented in clinical guidelines. By using exceptional data, we will study if pain sensitivity predicts if a woman will develop chronic pelvic pain or if the pain will last long or not. We will perform in-depth interviews of women suffering with chronic pelvic pain to learn about their coping strategies and disease experiences. In partnership with our work- and welfare administration we will assess the societal burden of chronic pelvic pain through work absence and quality of life.