Fear of progression, depression, and sleep difficulties in people experiencing endometriosis-pain: A cross-sectional study

Brydee Pickup, Daelin Coutts-Bain, Jemma Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Endometriosis is a chronic condition generally characterised by severe pain. Recent findings demonstrate disproportionately elevated rates of insomnia and fatigue among people with endometriosis, particularly among those with associated pain. Yet there is little understanding of the psychological factors that might contribute to these sleep and fatigue related difficulties. We investigated whether fear of progression and depression interacted with pain to influence fatigue and insomnia among people with endometriosis-related pain. Methods: A total of 206 individuals with endometriosis were included in this cross-sectional, online survey in January 2022. Participants provided relevant demographics and endometriosis characteristics. The BPI-SF, FoP-Q-SF, DASS-21, CFS and ISI were used to assess pain intensity, fear of progression, depression, fatigue, and insomnia symptoms, respectively. Associations between key variables were assessed with correlations. A path analysis determined whether the relationships between pain and fatigue, and pain and insomnia, depended on levels of fear of progression and depression. Results: Controlling for age, fear of progression was uniquely associated with worse fatigue (β = 0.348, p < .001) and insomnia (β = 0.389, p < .001), and moderated the relationship between pain and fatigue (β = 0.155, p = .009). Specifically, with increasing pain severity, the effects of fear of progression on fatigue were exacerbated. Depression was uniquely associated with fatigue (β = 0.360, p < .001), but did not elicit any moderation effects. Conclusion: These results highlight the role of fear of progression and depression in endometriosis-related fatigue and insomnia, paving the way for future interventions targeting these constructs to be tested.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111595
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Early online date18 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


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