Endometriosis, an unknown entity: The consumer’s perspective

Helen Cox, Chantal F. Ski*, Ros Wood, Margo Sheahan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the findings of a consumer-driven investigation conducted by the Centre for Clinical Nursing Research at Epworth Hospital in conjunction with the Endometriosis Association (Victoria, Australia) aimed at identifying the information and support needs of women experiencing endometriosis. Women’s experiences of endometriosis and laparoscopy were examined. A questionnaire was designed to explore women’s experiences of, and informational need for, the four categories of: diagnosis of endometriosis, endometriosis, laparoscopy and managing at home. A total of 465 women who had a positive diagnosis of endometriosis, including patients at the Epworth Endometriosis Centre and members of the Endometriosis Association, were included. The data were analysed in terms of frequency of responses and themes that arose from the research. Five main themes consistently emerged from the overall analysis of the questionnaire; these included: lack of communication, no-one listens, the emotional turmoil, expressions of gratitude to the Endometriosis Association and being young and helpless. Also identified was a lack of understanding of endometriosis and laparoscopy, on behalf of both the patient and the practitioner, which has led to communication of misinformation, extended physical pain and emotional distress. Based on these findings, recommendations were made for education strategies to be focused towards increasing awareness of endometriosis and for information to be disseminated using the preferred printed format and to be made available from gynaecologists, hospitals and schools. Through consumer participation, the information obtained in this study is of benefit to all women who come in contact with endometriosis by (a) validating women’s experiences of endometriosis and (b) identifying women’s needs in relation to the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-209
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer awareness
  • Education
  • Endometriosis
  • Endometriosis association
  • Laparoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Marketing

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