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Predictors of self-compassion in endometriosis: the role of psychological health and endometriosis symptom burden

Van Niekerk, L ORCID: 0000-0002-6641-5888, Johnstone, L and Matthewson, M ORCID: 0000-0002-1122-3977 2021 , 'Predictors of self-compassion in endometriosis: the role of psychological health and endometriosis symptom burden' , Human Reproduction , pp. 1-10 , doi: 10.1093/humrep/deab257.

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Abstract

STUDY QUESTION:What is the relationship between self-compassion, endometriosis-related symptoms and psychological health inwomen with symptomatic endometriosis?SUMMARY ANSWER: Decreased self-compassion is associated with increased psychological distress, extended diagnostic delay andvaries according to individual endometriosis-symptom profile.WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Existing research indicates that endometriosis is associated with reduced psychological health and varied endometriosis-related symptom profiles. Examining the level of self-compassion reported by women with endometriosis is importantas greater self-compassion has been found to improve psychological well-being in several chronic health populations.STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This study utilized a cross-sectional survey design to explore the relationship between selfcompassion, psychological health and endometriosis-related symptoms (n ¼ 318).PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Women with a self-reported diagnosis of endometriosis were recruited viaonline advertising through social media platforms. Demographic and endometriosis-specific information (e.g. disease stage, diagnostic delay,symptom experience) was collected in addition to psychological health and self-compassion. Psychological health was measured by thePROMIS Emotional Distress and Anxiety short forms and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-15). Self-compassion was measured bythe Self-Compassion Scale (26-item). Independent t-tests, bivariate correlations and linear regression analyses explored the relationship between specific endometriosis-related symptoms, psychological health and self-compassion.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Hierarchical multiple regression indicated that psychological symptoms accountedfor the greatest variance in levels of self-compassion in the current sample. Depression and anxiety were found to be significant negativepredictors of self-compassion. Notable symptoms that were significant in the final model were the presence of dysmenorrhea, lower backpain, dyspareunia, pain after sexual intercourse, fatigue and nausea.LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: The cross-sectional nature of the findings prevents direct findings of causality. The information pertaining to endometriosis was self-report in nature and was not medically verified.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: These preliminary findings indicate the importance of clinical interventions aimed at enhancing self-compassion and the importance of individual case conceptualization and treatment planning based on endometriosis-relatedsymptomatic profiles.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Van Niekerk, L and Johnstone, L and Matthewson, M
Keywords: endometriosis, self-compassion, symptom burden, psychological wellbeing
Journal or Publication Title: Human Reproduction
Publisher: Oxford Univ Press
ISSN: 0268-1161
DOI / ID Number: 10.1093/humrep/deab257
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2021 the authors.

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