The ENDOCARE questionnaire is a viable and reliable tool that evaluates patient-centered care in endometriosis, according to researchers.
They said ENDOCARE could be an important resource to help achieve good-quality healthcare while enhancing endometriosis clinics, and ultimately improving patient outcomes.
In the study, “Patient-centeredness and endometriosis: Definition, measurement, and current status,” a team led by researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium reviewed the definition, measurement, and current status of patient-centered care in endometriosis.
The study was published in the journal Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Healthcare services of high quality are important for patient outcomes. But for some women, finding a clinical team that provides them with the support and help they need can be a challenge.
Most endometriosis care providers and clinics are focused on improving the physical symptoms of patients with drugs or surgical treatment.
But these strategies aren’t always successful, and recurrence rates can be as high as 40 to 50 percent. It’s been increasingly recognized that factors more than just a patient’s physical well-being are crucial for their health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
Endometriosis is known to be associated with social, emotional, and physiological burdens. As a result, patient-centered care has been seen as an important factor to improve patient outcomes and quality of life. Ensuring that patients’ needs, preferences, and values are heard can be as important as caring for physical symptoms.
Researchers reviewed three patient surveys and nine qualitative studies on the care preferences, needs, and values in women with endometriosis. They also interviewed 15 women with endometriosis to capture the whole concept of patient-centeredness.
These analyses revealed 10 shared factors that were found to be the core for good-quality healthcare.
They included respect for patients’ values, preferences, and needs; good communication; emotional support; access to care; physical comfort; relation with the care staff; and scientific skills.
Based on these findings they developed the ENDOCARE questionnaire, a tool to assess patient-centeredness in endometriosis care.
The questionnaire is divided into three parts: one that assesses the patient’s characteristics, another that evaluates the patient’s experiences and values, and a third that includes overall rating questions.
“Besides clinics, national organizations can disseminate the ENDOCARE questionnaire to benchmark endometriosis clinics,” the researchers wrote. This may help identify care facilities of excellence, and help empower patients to improve the quality of their care, they added.
The questionnaire also highlights the need of care providers to “pay attention to all ten dimensions of patient-centered endometriosis care while interacting with women [who have endometriosis],” they added.