Endometriosis is one of the most common gynaecological conditions which can have major impacts on fertility, mental health and the ability to earn when left undiagnosed and untreated. With a paucity of research into endometriosis in New Zealand, there is opportunity for investment in research of this kind to significantly improve outcomes for large numbers of women, teen girls and those assigned female at birth – and to address key equity issues facing this cohort.
Recent New Zealand research places average diagnostic delay of endometriosis at a staggering 8.7 years. While some of this will be due to poor symptom recognition by women themselves, little is understood of the barriers and facilitators of diagnosis once women approach GPs. It is particularly concerning that this research found women on average approached five GPs to get to a diagnosis.
This research project aims to shed light on barriers to diagnosis from a New Zealand GP’s perspective, so that strategies can be put in place to overcome these.
This research project is based on two studies conducted in the Netherlands into the factors at play in primary care – which found that lack of knowledge and awareness of endometriosis appeared to result in a low priority for establishing a diagnosis, particularly for younger women – while infertility, patient assertiveness and recent training were factors for earlier diagnosis. Based on these two Dutch studies, this research project aims to shed light on barriers to diagnosis from a New Zealand GP’s perspective, so that strategies can be put in place to overcome these.
Examining the awareness, knowledge and clinical decision-making of GPs regarding endometriosis will provide evidence to be the catalyst for strategies for primary care to significantly reduce diagnostic delays and strengthen support of those affected by endometriosis.
A lack of data on Māori with endometriosis is identified in Ministry of Health endometriosis guidelines, and this research also seeks to gain an understanding of GPs estimation of ethnic differences to inform future work through co-design, collaboration and coordination to move from strategy to action.
Ground-breaking research funded by Waikato Medical Research Foundation aims to speed up endometriosis diagnosis. Endometriosis is a common condition with major impacts on fertility, mental health and the ability to earn. Recent New Zealand research places average time to diagnosis at a staggering 8.7 years, sometimes seeing five different GPs. Based on studies done in The Netherlands, this project aims to shed light on the factors at play in primary care so strategies can be put in place to overcome these.
Findings from this study will be the catalyst for strategies for primary care to enhance timely diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, by understanding the awareness, knowledge and treatment gaps of GPs which may contribute to the current diagnostic delay of 8.7 years 
This initial research is the beginning of the journey targeted at engaging and empowering primary care to strengthen their support of and to those affected by endometriosis.