A Patient Perspective
Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS) has a deep impact on the life of both the patient and the patient’s partner and family. Understanding the patient perspective and the physical, emotional and social impact of BPS on the patient is an important step towards successful treatment by the health professional. While increased awareness of this bladder syndrome in recent decades has led to quicker referral and diagnosis in some parts of the world, a patient with BPS symptoms may nevertheless still spend years without the right diagnosis. Treatment of BPS requires a great deal of time and patience on the part of the doctor in collaboration with the patient who will be required to play an active role, particularly in the field of behavioural and dietary modification. The ultimate aim of treatment is to alleviate the symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. One of the great problems and indeed mysteries of this bladder disorder is that it may be accompanied by one or multiple other disorders and/or pain syndromes which, when combined with the BPS, can lead to an extremely debilitating situation. This makes an interactive, multidisciplinary treatment approach between the different care providers absolutely essential. Patient education can give patients a better knowledge and understanding of their symptoms, and therefore also of their treatment.
Patient support groups play an important role in providing information and moral support. Patient-to-patient counselling is invaluable since only another patient truly understands what BPS is actually like and its impact on daily life. The key message is that every BPS patient is different, requires an individual approach with customised treatment and needs time and an appreciation by the care provider of the impact on the patient’s life, all packaged with a good dose of sympathy and understanding.
KeywordsIrritable Bowel Syndrome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Interstitial Cystitis Social Security Benefit Bladder Pain Syndrome
- Meijlink JM. Interstitial cystitis: diagnosis & treatment. An overview. http://www.painful-bladder.org/pdf/Diagnosis%26Treatment_IPBF.pdf (Updated yearly)