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'How to say it?': Women's descriptions of pelvic pain

Grace, Victoria M. and MacBride-Stewart, Sara J. 2008. 'How to say it?': Women's descriptions of pelvic pain. Women & Health 46 (4) , pp. 81-98. 10.1300/J013v46n04_05

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The present research aimed to compare women's descriptions of chronic pelvic pain, when talking about their pain in narrative mode, with the descriptors used in a common pain assessment tool, the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ). Our intention was to see what we could learn about the relationship between words used in these kinds of assessment tools and meanings of pain experience evident in narratives. This New Zealand-based qualitative study used open-ended interviewing to generate women's experiential narratives of pelvic pain. Forty women of European descent were recruited via a randomly selected national prevalence survey on chronic pelvic pain: 33 had chronic pelvic pain that was not associated with dysmenorrhoea or dyspareunia (CPP); 38 had dysmenorrhoea; 29 had dyspareunia; 24 had all three. The study group was aged between 22 and 51 years. The differences that emerged between the words used by women and those used in the MPQ vocabulary are described. Two main findings emerged: a difference in the relative emphasis placed on sensory descriptors and the absence in women's narratives of affective words used in the MPQ. However, a predominance of an affective dimension of pain was evident in women's narratives, which is described. Given the narrative specificity of the experience of pelvic pain, we conclude that assessment tools using the words and phrases evident in narratives of pain would potentially be more useful, and that such a pain assessment tool would ideally be used in association with narrative techniques incorporated into the clinician's interview with women who present with chronic pelvic pain.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chronic pelvic pain, narrative, descriptors, McGill Pain Questionnaire
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0363-0242
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 07:55

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