JOGC

No. 164-Consensus Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Pelvic Pain

      Abstract

      Objective

      To improve the understanding of chronic pelvic pain (CPP) and to provide evidence-based guidelines of value to primary care health professionals, general obstetricians and gynaecologists, and those who specialize in chronic pain.
      Disclaimer: This guideline has been reaffirmed for use and approved by Board of The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. A revision is underway.

      Burden of Suffering

      CPP is a common, debilitating condition affecting women. It accounts for substantial personal suffering and health care expenditure for interventions, including multiple consultations and medical and surgical therapies. Because the underlying pathophysiology of this complex condition is poorly understood, these treatments have met with variable success rates.

      Outcomes

      Effectiveness of diagnostic and therapeutic options, including assessment of myofascial dysfunction, multidisciplinary care, a rehabilitation model that emphasizes achieving higher function with some pain rather than a cure, and appropriate use of opiates for the chronic pain state.

      Evidence

      Medline and the Cochrane Database from 1982 to 2004 were searched for articles in English on subjects related to CPP, including acute care management, myofascial dysfunction, and medical and surgical therapeutic options. The committee reviewed the literature and available data from a needs assessment of subjects with CPP, using a consensus approach to develop recommendations.

      Values

      The quality of the evidence was rated using the criteria described in the Report of the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination. Recommendations for practice were ranked according to the method described in that report (Table 1).

      Recommendations

      The recommendations are directed to the following areas: (a) an understanding of the needs of women with CPP; (b) general clinical assessment; (c) practical assessment of pain levels; (d) myofascial pain; (e) medications and surgical procedures; (d) principles of opiate management; (f) increased use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); (g) documentation of the surgically observed extent of disease; (h) alternative therapies; (i) access to multidisciplinary care models that have components of physical therapy (such as exercise and posture) and psychology (such as cognitive-behavioural therapy), along with other medical disciplines, such as gynaecology and anesthesia; G) increased attention to CPP in the training of health care professionals; and (k) increased attention to CPP in formal, high-calibre research. The committee recommends that provincial ministries of health pursue the creation of multidisciplinary teams to manage the condition.

      Key Words

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