CREATING VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS TO DELIVER EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR THE TREATMENT OF PERSISTENT PELVIC PAIN

B. Pérez-Domínguez1, A. López-Brull1, F. Cuenca-Martínez1, L. Suso-Martí1, J. Calatayud-Villalba1, A. Herranz-Gómez1, M. Blanco-Díaz2, F. Domínguez-Navarro1, J. Casaña-Granell1, F. Álvarez Salvago3

1University of Valencia (SPAIN)
2University of Oviedo (SPAIN)
3Universidad Europea de Valencia (SPAIN)
Introduction:
Persistent pelvic pain (PPP), also referred as dyspareunia or vulvodynia, is a common cause for sexual dysfunction is sexually active women. With no related cause that could explain the presence of pain during intercourse, central sensitization or a maladaptative processing of information has been identified as the cause for the development of this affliction.

Many treatment strategies have been discussed, but none of them have been sufficiently developed in scientific literature. Education has been fully considered in similar pain processing pathologies, so it can be clearly hypothesized that having a good education about sexuality and pain can have a significant impact in the development of PPP.

Due to COVID-19 and pandemic restrictions, delivering educational programs has become a challenge for health professionals. Face-to-face educational sessions are very hard to implement, and online modalities have been considered as a safe, yet effective alternative.

Objective:
To assess adherence rates and effectiveness involving pain and other domains related to pain of an online educational program in patients suffering from PPP. In order to assess adherence rates, a percentage of the total visualizations done respectively to the total sessions offered has been registered, and in order to assess the effect of the program in the development of PPP, a pain intensity Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) has been assessed.

Materials and method:
29 women suffering from PPP were enrolled in an intervention were an online educational program about pain and sexuality is delivered. Educational sessions were previously developed by expert Physical Therapists in pelvic floor disorders, and contained anatomical information, pain-processing mechanisms explanations and sexuality exercises. Sessions were recorded following a detailed script, and were edited by one of the researchers. Once the sessions were edited, researches uploaded the content to an online video repository and participants were given links to the sessions in a weekly basis through email. Participants were then able to access the platform and visualize the session

Results:
Participants showed very high adherence rates, overall percentage above 80%, considered to be very high adherence rates. Overall pain intensity had a significant improvement regarding VAS scores. These results reflect the feasibility and effectiveness of an online educational program about pain and sexuality for patients suffering from PPP.