Remembering the pain: Accuracy of pain recall in endometriosis

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Endometriosis diagnosis and treatment planning are guided primarily by retrospective pain recall, despite the facts that (1) there is only a tenuous relationship between pain reports and physical pathology, and (2) the accuracy of pain recall has never been assessed in this population. The current study investigated the accuracy of endometriotic pain recall for pain experienced over a 30-day period, as well as potential psychological mediators of pain recall accuracy, including psychological wellbeing, distress specific to infertility, passive and active coping, and pain present at time of recall in 100 women with endometriosis. Findings indicated that women were relatively accurate in their recall of pain. Only passive coping and pain present at recall were predictive of accuracy, with greater passive coping and lower pain at recall predictive of overestimation of past pain. Study implications are discussed, including: (1) report of pain over a 30-day duration appears credible for the majority of patients with endometriosis and (2) women exhibiting greater passive coping may benefit from psychological treatment in addition to medical intervention.


Endometriosis; Memory; Pain; Pain--Psychological aspects


Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology


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