A Single Session of a Digital Health Tool-Delivered Exercise Intervention May Provide Immediate Relief from Pelvic Pain in Women with Endometriosis: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study

Muhammad Lutfi, Lance C. Dalleck, Claire Drummond, Murray Drummond, Liana Paparella, Caitlin E. Keith, Michael Kirton, Laura Falconer, Lemlem Gebremichael, Caroline Phelan, Christine Barry, Kiara Roscio, Belinda Lange, Joyce Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract


Background: Endometriosis is a debilitating chronic condition that is commonly associated with chronic pelvic pain, affecting approximately 10% of women of reproductive age worldwide. The general principle of pain management in this population involves both pharmacological and surgical interventions. There is also increasing interest in the use of exercise as an alternative non- pharmacological analgesic, but adherence and accessibility to face-to-face exercise-delivery modalities are poor. This study aims to determine the immediate impact of a single session of ‘supervised’ telehealth-delivered exercise compared to ‘self-managed’ virtual reality (VR)-delivered exercise on pelvic pain associated with endometriosis.

Methods: Twenty-two women experiencing pelvic pain due to endometriosis were included and randomized into three groups: (i) VR-delivered exercise group (n = 8); (ii) telehealth-delivered exercise group (n = 8); and (iii) control group (n = 6). The visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to assess the severity of pelvic pain.

Results: There was no statistically significant between-group difference (p = 0.45) in the participants’ pain score following a single session of the study interventions (VR or telehealth) or the control. However, a ‘medium-to-large’ group x time interaction effect (η2 = 0.10) was detected, indicating a more favorable pain score change following a single session of telehealth- (pre-post ∆: +10 ± 12 mm) and VR-delivered exercise (pre-post ∆: +9 ± 24 mm) compared to the control group (pre-post ∆: +16 ± 12 mm).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that a single bout of a ‘self-managed’ VR-delivered exercise may be as efficacious as a single session of ‘supervised’ telehealth-delivered exercise in providing immediate relief from pelvic pain associated with endometriosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1665
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Virtual reality
  • pelvic pain
  • endometriosis
  • telehealth
  • Women’s health
  • health

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