"It may be something that practicing urologists could already start speaking to their patients about," says Siobhan Sutcliffe, PhD, ScM, MHS.
In this interview, Siobhan Sutcliffe, PhD, ScM, MHS, discusses the key takeaways from the study, “Association between urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome symptom flares, illness impact, and health care seeking activity: findings from the Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain Symptom Patterns study.” Sutcliffe is a professor of surgery and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri.
That's a really good question and one that the reviewers did pose to us. When you think about this research, it is upstream in the sequence of research that is done that would ultimately relate to practicing urologists and to patients. Here, we just wanted to see whether flares were worth studying more, and whether it was worth developing an instrument and including them in future research studies. I would say that it's fairly upstream at the moment.
The goal with this is that if we did find that it was important, and I think that we did, that people would start studying flare triggers, ways to prevent flares, and ways to treat flares. I don't think we're really at that stage yet. I think it does also highlight that this is important to patients. It may be something that practicing urologists could already start speaking to their patients about. Just anecdotally from some previous research that we've done that was qualitative in nature, we found that patients who had a plan for when they were experiencing flares or carrying extra medication with them, or just having a plan for what to do when they were experiencing a flare, that seemed to be reassuring and helpful to patients. That can be something that can be started even now without additional information.
This transcript was edited for clarity.