Qualitative analysis of treatment needs in interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome: Implications for intervention
Background: Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is a debilitating condition carrying substantial psychosocial burden. Psychological treatment for IC/BPS is little studied, and there are barriers to its use in clinical management. Whether psychological treatments benefit patients with IC/BPS is unclear and we do not know whether such treatments would meet patient needs. Aims: Incorporating patient-reported needs and acknowledging diversity in pain experiences can inform patient-centered interventions for IC/BPS. This project characterized the experience of living with IC/BPS and patient perceptions of needs in its treatment, with the goal of informing patient-centered treatment for IC/BPS. Methods: Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, 27 females with IC/BPS participated in a focus group and completed validated self-report assessments evaluating urinary symptoms, pain, and emotional functioning. Focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed and then coded and analyzed using an iterative inductive/deductive approach. Linear regression models evaluated the relationship between psychological functioning and symptom severity. Results: We conducted six focus groups between August and December 2017. Five major themes emerged from qualitative analysis: managing physical symptoms, emotional symptoms, impact on daily life and socio-contextual factors, responding to illness, and addressing needs in treatment. The physiological and emotional consequences of IC/BPS were reported, highlighting their impact on interpersonal relationships and challenges in obtaining appropriate treatment for IC/BPS. Quantitative analysis showed that depression levels were significantly associated with worsened IC/BPS symptomology, after controlling for known confounding factors. Conclusion: Individuals with IC/BPS could benefit from tailored psychological interventions focusing on pain management, emotion regulation, communications skills, along with sexual dysfunction and intimacy fears.
McKernan, LC; Bonnet, KR; Finn, MTM; Williams, DA; Bruehl, S; Reynolds, WS; Clauw, D; Dmochowski, RR; Schlundt, DG; Crofford, LJ
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