MSFHR 2018 Reach Award project: “Knowledge translation for a new understanding of sexual pain in endometriosis”

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Yong and Natasha Orr, recipients of a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) 2018 Reach Award! The Reach Award provides funding to support the dissemination and uptake of research evidence. Read our Q&A with Natasha below to find out more about their project!

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Briefly, what research will you be disseminating with the MSFHR Reach Award?

Endometriosis-associated sexual pain is multifactorial, and may result from endometriosis lesions, the pelvic floor musculature, depression, and/or central nervous system sensitization. Treatment efficacy may depend on the specific cause of pain. Some patients do not know that their pain is caused by a variety of factors; therefore, we will be disseminating our research findings on the causes of sexual pain to provide women with a better understanding.

How will you be disseminating it?

We will organize a one-day workshop that explains the causes of sexual pain and provide patients with tools to manage their pain.

Research users are expected to play a key role in Reach Award-funded projects. How did your patient partner get involved with the project and what will their role look like within your team?

Our research team is committed to helping people with endometriosis and we are extremely fortunate to have a Patient Research Advisory Board that collaborates with our team. Our patient- partners helped draft the Reach Award application and will continue to be involved in the creation of this workshop (e.g., themes, speakers).

Why is it important to share this research?

Our physicians may suggest treatment options that patients are not familiar with, so the goal of this workshop is to provide patients with a better understanding of individualized treatments for their sexual pain. For example, a patient with endometriosis who has central sensitization may benefit from a multidisciplinary treatment plan (including physiotherapy, mindfulness, etc.) before undergoing surgery. This may be surprising for patients who may feel that surgery alone will eliminate their pain. Our workshop will disseminate the research on why different treatment approaches to sexual pain in endometriosis may be needed.

When/where can we expect to see your research disseminated?

We plan on having this workshop in May 2019 at a community venue. Patients at our centre (BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis) will receive invitations, as well as women from the community. You can expect to see more information about this workshop in early 2019. We look forward to seeing you all there!