Qualitative Analysis of Treatment Needs in Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome: Implications for Intervention.

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 if such treatments would meet patient needs.

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.

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, then coded and analyzed using an iterative inductive/deductive approach. Linear regression models evaluated the relationship between psychological functioning and symptom severity.

We conducted six focus groups between 8/2017-12/2017. 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 obtaining appropriate treatment for IC/BPS. Quantitative analysis showed depression levels were significantly associated with worsened IC/BPS symptomology, after controlling for known confounding factors.

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.

Canadian journal of pain = Revue canadienne de la douleur. 2020 Sep 01 [Epub]

Lindsey C McKernan, Kemberlee R Bonnet, Michael T M Finn, David A Williams, Stephen Bruehl, W Stuart Reynolds, Daniel Clauw, Roger R Dmochowski, David G Schlundt, Leslie J Crofford

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine., Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University., Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan., Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine., Department of Urologic Surgery, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine., Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

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