Qualitative analysis of treatment needs in interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome: Implications for intervention

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McKernan, LC; Bonnet, KR; Finn, MTM; Williams, DA; Bruehl, S; Reynolds, WS; Clauw, D; Dmochowski, RR; Schlundt, DG; Crofford, LJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 2020

Published In

  • Canadian Journal of Pain

Volume / Issue

  • 4 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 181 - 198

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2474-0527

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/24740527.2020.1785854

Citation Source

  • Scopus