Endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain: impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on virtual, surgical, and multidisciplinary care
Endometriosis affects ~10% of the population and is a common cause of chronic pelvic pain. It is defined as tissue resembling cells in the uterus (womb), being present outside of the uterus. In this proposal, we will examine the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain. At our centre during the pandemic, there was incorporation of virtual care, conversion of a multidisciplinary pain program to virtual, and delays in surgical treatment of endometriosis. Our first aim is to the examine how the pandemic and these practice changes impacted patients with endometriosis/chronic pelvic pain, such as pain levels, mental health, quality-of-life, and disease severity. Our second aim is to assess how diagnosis and management of endometriosis/chronic pelvic pain changed with virtual care only, compared to an in-person assessment with physical examination and point-of-care ultrasound, with particular focus on impact on surgical treatment. The third aim is to specifically examine the experiences of patients with endometriosis of East and South-East Asian descent, given the geopolitics of the pandemic and anti-Asian discrimination. We will conduct both quantitative (statistical) analyses and an arts-based study using Photovoice to capture the experiences of these individuals. This research will provide a comprehensive picture of the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic and will have direct implications for quality improvement of the care provided for endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain.