OBJECTIVES: Diagnostic delay is common in endometriosis. There is an unmet need for a symptom-based, patient-completed screening tool to facilitate discussions between patients and physicians about potential endometriosis symptoms. The objective of this study was to develop and assess the patient-completed Painful Periods Screening Tool (PPST) to assess the presence of potential endometriosis symptoms.
METHODS: To develop and refine the PPST, a cross-sectional qualitative study was conducted with women with endometriosis and healthy controls. Following identification of potentially relevant concepts in the literature and input from clinical experts, a draft version of the PPST was tested during in-depth individual interviews with 16 women: 11 with endometriosis and 5 healthy controls.
RESULTS: The six draft items of the PPST were refined iteratively in two rounds of interviews, and one item was deleted following the second set of interviews. All concepts included in the final five-item PPST were found to be relevant to women with endometriosis, and all 11 participants with endometriosis endorsed at least one of the items. No core symptoms of endometriosis were noted as missing from the PPST.
CONCLUSION: The PPST assesses the most important endometriosis-related symptoms and may help facilitate discussions between patients and physicians, promoting earlier diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.