346. Behavioral, cognitive, and emotional coping strategies of women with endometriosis: a critical narrative review.

Zarbo C, Brugnera A, Frigerio L, Malandrino C, Rabboni M, Bondi E, Compare A. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2018 Feb;21(1):1-13. doi: 10.1007/s00737-017-0779-9.


Endometriosis is a disabling and long-term medical condition affecting quality of life and mental health. Behavioral, cognitive, and emotional coping strategies, emotional intelligence, and metacognition could in part explain the link between the disease and impaired psychological and life functioning. This critical narrative review aimed at examining the state of the art of the relationships between endometriosis and these factors. According to PRISMA principles, we performed a systematic search for quantitative and qualitative studies on multiple electronic databases as regards coping strategies, emotional intelligence, and metacognition in women with endometriosis. Studies were subjected to interpretative and critical narrative synthesis. A total of 9 papers were included in the review. Three main categories were identified in thematic analysis and resumed in the manuscript. Findings suggested that (a) pain is considered the major stressor; (b) they usually use both adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies; (c) women with endometriosis and related chronic pain seem to repress emotions more likely than healthy ones; (d) suppressing own emotions, pain catastrophizing, and having a passive coping style are related to higher self-reported pain; and (e) emotional and avoidance coping styles are associated to poor mental status, while positive coping strategies focusing on the problem or on emotions, detached and rational styles are associated to better mental health. Few studies with mixed results and some methodological flaws have focused on coping strategies in women with endometriosis. No studies focusing on metacognition or emotional intelligence were found. Methodological biases, suggestions for future research, and implications for clinical practice were discussed