Endometriosis: Lack of knowledge and awareness

Endometriosis
Endometriosis

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Endometriosis: Lack of knowledge and awareness

Research questions

The critical challenge that faces endometriosis community is inadequate factual awareness. Endometriosis is a challenge that keeps most women mired in menstrual myths, misinformation, delayed or under-diagnosis, under treatment, and lack of support.  The societal and cultural bias about menstruation has kept the disease invalidated, diminished and ignored.  This legacy of misinformation covering this illness is spread from medical educators, patients and the next generation (Ferreira et al. 2016).

The paper seeks to explore existing knowledge on socio-psychological impact of endometriosis on the lives of women. By doing this, it will provide insight into ways of increasing awareness of the disease. The research question is “What is the socio-psychological impact of endometriosis on women’s health? What are the impacts of increased awareness of endometriosis on women’s health?”

Clinical relevance

Endometriosis has remained in the twilight for centuries because the society has failed to recognize the existence of this disease. Research estimates that one in ten women in their reproductive age suffer from endometriosis. Endometriosis is often dismissed as a ‘normal’ problem among women. It affects 176 million women across the globe causing them to endure a life of pain and in some cases, infertility. 

Endometriosis has exerted massive economic and social costs at individual and society levels. In the US, it is estimated that 7.6 million women are affected and this accounts for $ 80.4 billion a year. This number is comparable to diabetes yet there are only a small percentage of the afflicted patients who have sought help and are aware of the disease.  (Moradi et al, 2013).

Research estimates that most of the primary doctors are not aware of endometriosis markers, which often makes the vast number of women to be underdiagnosed and undertreated. It is estimated that 61% of women suffering from endometriosis were told that it is normal to have painful periods when under treatment. It takes about 9.28 years to get a definitive diagnosis.

An average woman will take 4.67 years to report the issue and the physicians will take about 4.61 years to make the definitive diagnosis. During that time, the women continue to suffer severe pain and they are not in a position to socialise, work, or have a stable sexual relationship (Heidemann et al, 2013).

Most of the research studies have covered various aspect of the disease. However, most of these aspects are redundant in nature and lack translational benefit. A better part of the research study is directed towards the pharmaceutical diagnosis, but it fails to examine the far-reaching impact of the disease. The enduring lack of awareness exists at all societal levels; hence, this has led to average diagnostic delay which is often a catalyst for delayed effective treatment (Moradi et al. 2013).

 Early intervention and increased awareness of the disease is important. This is because it helps to reduce the disease morbidity, incidences of infertility, and disease progression across women of all ages. Also, increased awareness is important because it helps the affected women to make informed decisions about their health. Furthermore, increased awareness will facilitate delivery of correct information upon which the healthcare providers can base their healthcare decisions to make timely diagnosis (Ferreira et al. 2016).

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Research design

 To effectively address these research questions, the systematic review method will be adopted. This method is preferred due to its ability to include diverse concepts in qualitative and quantitative studies from several disciplines. Therefore, this review draws its synthesis from critical narrative instead of performing the classic systematic review methodology. The classical narrative method will adhere to PRISMA principles as much as possible.

This method is preferred due to its ability to provide exhaustive review of the current literature and published papers on endometriosis awareness, and its impact on women’s lives. The method is cost effective as minimal resources and time is needed. The results generated from this study can be generalized, they are reliable, and can be considered on the context of evidence based practice (Burns & Grove, 2011).

 The study design pitfall is the issue of study variables. This is because systematic review study variables vary, but tend to have the same outcome. Some of the reviews will only analyse certain variables such as gender and age factors that may not be allocated to other studies.  During the critical synthesis of these ideas, the variables studied in each of original studies will be put into consideration.

A systematic search will be done on multidisciplinary data bases including PubMed, CINAHL plus, Cochrane Library, EBSCOhost, SU database, and PsyARTICLES. Appropriate terms for searching the disease will be developed by reviewing the abstracts, titles and keywords, which will help to identify papers that have information on socio-psychological impact of endometriosis and its increased awareness (Burns & Grove, 2011).

 The systematic review will take broad view of the issue because there are limited studies on the impact of endometriosis or the effects that arise due to lack of disease awareness. The work will include information from the various disciplines including sociology and psychology to establish the holistic picture on the impact of endometriosis. 

The articles that will be explored include the peer reviewed articles from English language journals.  Due to the scarcity of the information on endometriosis, its impact and prevention strategies, no date restrictions will be imposed.  However, reviews, commentaries, opinions, and clinical studies will be excluded (Burns & Grove, 2011).

 Conclusion

Increased   public knowledge and awareness will facilitate early identification of disease onset and facilitate timely intervention of the disease. This will reduce associated morbidity, infertility and associated clinical symptoms. It is time to alleviate the culture of menstrual misinformation by ensuring that the public get timely and authoritative education.  Therefore, increased knowledge and awareness will change the presumptuous perspectives and misleading attitudes that normally perpetuate myths about endometriosis.


References

Burns, N., & Grove, S. (2011). Understanding Nursing Research (5th ed.). Elsevier. ISBN-13: 9781437707502

Ferreira, A. et al  (2016). Quality of life of the woman carrier of endometriosis: systematized review. Reprodução & Climatério. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.recli.2015.12.002

 Heidemann, L. et al (2013). The relationship between endometriosis and ovarian cancer – a review. Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 93(1), 20-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aogs.12255495. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aogs.12121

Moradi, M. et al (2014). Impact of endometriosis on women’s lives: a qualitative study. BMC Women’s Health, 14(1), 123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6874-14-123

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