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Rethinking endometriosis care: applying the chronic care model via a multidisciplinary program for the care of women with endometriosis

Authors Agarwal SK, Foster WG, Groessl EJ

Received 13 March 2019

Accepted for publication 29 June 2019

Published 23 July 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 405—410


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Everett F Magann

Sanjay K Agarwal,1 Warren G Foster,1,2 Erik J Groessl3,4

1Center for Endometriosis Research and Treatment, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; 2Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Mcmaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada; 3Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; 4VA San Diego Medical Center, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

Abstract: Endometriosis is a chronic, painful disease without a cure. Due largely to chronic pain, endometriosis can lead to significant physical, mental, relationship, and financial burdens. Within the conventional single provider model of care—in which the patient is primarily taken care of by her physician and complementary strategies based on psychology, nutrition, pain medicine, pelvic physical therapy, and so on may not be readily available in a coordinated manner—most women with endometriosis live with unresolved pain and the consequences of that pain. We therefore propose that there is an urgent need to search for alternative models of care. In the current paper, we discuss our experiences with an model of care in which we adopt a long-term, patient-focused, and multidisciplinary chronic care model for women with endometriosis. Our objective is to improve long-term clinical outcomes for women with endometriosis. For geographical areas and healthcare systems in which it is feasible, we propose consideration of this multidisciplinary model of care as an alternative to the single provider model and offer guidance for those considering establishment of such a program. We also initiate a conversation about which clinical outcomes pertaining to endometriosis are important and should be tracked to assess the efficacy and value of multidisciplinary and other endometriosis healthcare models.

Keywords: endometriosis, multidisciplinary, chronic care model, multimodal, quality of life, health services

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