Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
First Committee Member
Marta Meana, Chair
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
Little is known about mediators of treatment-seeking in dyspareunia. The general health belief literature as well as some existing qualitative data specific to dyspareunia, however, suggests a number of potentially significant barriers that may delay or prevent women from enlisting the aid of health care professionals. The aim of this study was to investigate influences on dyspareunia treatment-seeking behavior in young women, for whom the consequences of treatment avoidance are hypothesized to be the greatest. Given the lack of standardized health behavior measures relevant to intercourse pain, we constructed a measure assessing potential barriers to dyspareunia treatment-seeking. An exploratory principal component analysis yielded a 28-item, 3-component measure entitled the Sexual Health Treatment Barrier Scale - Dyspareunia Version (SHTBS-Dysp). The components (sub-scales) were interpreted and entitled as follows: Minimization, Shame, and Fear of Severity. We then investigated the psychometric properties of the SHTBS-Dysp, and explored convergent validity insofar as the endorsement of barriers correlated with cognitive and emotional styles associated with health behavior in the empirical literature and with self-report of treatment-seeking. Contrary to what has been found for most other health problems, treatment-seeking barriers for dyspareunia correlated positively with health anxiety, somatic amplification, pain catastrophization, and negative affect. Consistent with expectations, the measure correlated negatively with self-report of treatment seeking. Clinical and public health implications of the results are discussed.
Anxiety; Barriers; Dyspareunia; Health attitudes; Health behavior; Pain catastrophizing; Somatization disorder; Treatment-seeking; Women
Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Health Psychology | Psychology | Public Health
Donaldson, Robyn L., "To consult or not to consult? Investigating barriers to dysparenia treatment-seeking in young women" (2011). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1001.