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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 786830, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Are Mood and Anxiety Disorders and Alexithymia Associated with Endometriosis? A Preliminary Study

1Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, U.O.D. Psychotherapy, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Casal dei Pazzi 16, 00156 Rome, Italy
2Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Urology, Sapienza University of Rome, Policlinico Umberto I, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Rome, Italy
3Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Policlinico Umberto I, Viale Regina Elena 326, 00161 Rome, Italy

Received 27 January 2014; Accepted 2 June 2014; Published 22 June 2014

Academic Editor: Giulia Montanari

Copyright © 2014 Gabriele Cavaggioni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The aim of this preliminary study was to determine whether psychiatric disorders, psychopathological symptoms, and alexithymia are associated with endometriosis in an Italian population. Study Design. A preliminary study comprising 37 Italian patients with surgically confirmed endometriosis and 43 controls, without clinical and ultrasound signs of endometriosis, was carried out. Both patients and controls were evaluated for the presence/absence of psychiatric disorders, psychopathological symptoms, alexithymia, and pain symptoms (nonmenstrual pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, and dyspareunia). Results. Statistically significant differences were found between cases and controls for prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders, malfunctioning on obsessive-compulsive subscale ( ) and depression subscale ( ) of the Symptom Checklist-90-Revisited (SCL-90-R), and higher alexithymia levels ( ). Patients with endometriosis-associated pain showed greater prevalence of psychiatric disorders compared to pain-free patients but that difference was not significant. Significant correlation was found between malfunctioning in some SCL-90-R dimensions and pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, and dyspareunia scores at the visual analog score (VAS). Conclusion. Some psychopathological aspects, such as psychoemotional distress and alexithymia, are more frequent in women with endometriosis and might amplify pain symptoms in these patients.