Endometriosis, a condition in which uterine tissue is found in locations outside the uterus, is a chronic illness that affects about 10% of women worldwide. Identification and management of endometriosis is often delayed, with a worldwide average diagnosis time of 7.5 years (Bullo 2018). Past research shows that much of this delay in diagnosis and treatment is due to patients feeling dismissed or having their symptoms minimized by providers. Too many providers still ignore the impact of chronic pain not only on physical health, but also mental health, living conditions, and social relationships (Grundstrom et al, 2018). Progress can ultimately only be made when patients feel heard, respected, and believed. As such, this project uses a collaborative autoethnographic approach and explores one patient’s experiences with endometriosis through a series of interviews between her and the primary author, a medical student. Data takes a narrative form to explore the various influences on each individual’s experience with endometriosis, the healthcare system, and medical education. A social ecological model is used to synthesize the findings. The conversations provide insights into how the patient-provider relationship can be improved to achieve more optimal healthcare for people with endometriosis and other chronic illnesses.
Vita, Ankita, "Conversations on Endometriosis: A Collaborative Autoethnographic Approach to Understanding Chronic Illness" (2023). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 490.