Endometriosis is a complex, chronic condition with known psychological and social implications for women. Little is known about clinicians’ perceptions of the psychosocial aspects of endometriosis and associated care.
To describe clinicians’ perceptions of women’s experiences of living with endometriosis and of the provision of psychosocial care for endometriosis.
Materials and methods
A qualitative approach was taken using semi‐structured interviews with eight gynaecologists and four general practitioners who provide care to women with endometriosis in Victoria, conducted by telephone and in person from June to December 2014.
Clinicians’ perceptions of women’s experiences of endometriosis were consistent with those reported by women, particularly when discussing potential infertility. However, less comprehensive descriptions of the effects of endometriosis on women’s work and social life and intimate relationships were observed. Some clinicians asserted that endometriosis is caused by poor mental health. General practitioners positioned themselves as best placed to provide psychosocial care to women with endometriosis; gynaecologists suggested various potential providers but rarely themselves. Most clinicians assessed themselves as not being adequately trained to understand and provide care for the psychosocial aspects of endometriosis; half of the gynaecologists did not believe it was necessary for them to do so.
The findings of this research demonstrate clinicians’ need for further support in the provision of psychosocial care for women with endometriosis, potentially through expanded clinical guidelines and professional development opportunities.