Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Ayisha Lighbourne, Mary Cronin, Sarah Foley & Maria Dempsey
From Molecules to People
Living with Endometriosis
Poster Presentation
Optional Fields
Background: Endometriosis is an incurable chronic condition associated with debilitating pain and subfertility, which affects over 155,000 women in Ireland. In March 2022, the Department of Health launched the first Women’s Health Action Plan 2022-2023, which includes the establishment of two specialist endometriosis services nationally. This study, undertaken in 2021, examined the perceptions and experiences of women diagnosed with endometriosis regarding the diagnosis, support and treatment options available in Ireland with a view to informing health service development. Methodology: A qualitative study design with purposeful recruitment strategy was adopted. Twenty semi-structured, online interviews with women with a medical diagnosis of endometriosis and experience of the Irish healthcare system were completed. The data was analysed thematically, using Reflexive Thematic Analysis. Results: Four themes were identified in the data: (1) dismissive attitudes and (2) lack of education and awareness among general practitioners (3) delayed diagnosis and (4) inadequate health services. Findings highlight the varied and protracted routes to diagnosis and treatment experienced by participants, and their medical and embodied knowledge of the condition and health service pathways. Conclusions: Recommendations include implementing the specialised centres as planned, adopting patient-centred multidisciplinary models of care, reducing diagnosis time and the need for increased education, awareness and training for both public and private healthcare practitioners