Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy
Empathy During Patient-Provider Interactions for Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain: A Qualitative Study
Pamela Kays, PT, DPT, EdD
Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) affects up to 1 in 4 women, yet CPP can be mismanaged by health care providers (HCPs). Patients with CPP often struggle in the healthcare system, and negative patient-provider interactions persist despite increased knowledge and evidence about CPP.
A recent qualitative study found that women with chronic pelvic pain are likely to have negative experiences in health care due to the lack of provider empathy. This can lead to a reluctance to report their symptoms and seek care and ultimately delays treatment for this population.
Health care providers are in a position to support these patients regardless of their ability to provide specific treatment. For example, participants in the qualitative study stated that HCPs who were honest about their knowledge or lack thereof and HCPs who made an effort to help or guide them to someone who could help made them feel the most at ease.
Link to journal to find out more about what contributes to negative patient provider interactions and steps practitioners can take to improve care for patients with CPP.