A comprehensive review published in The Lancet, Diabetes & Endocrinology, by a team of experts in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) provides a summary of best practice evidence and advocates for greater funded research to address remaining gaps in knowledge in this condition.
The review highlights the need for dedicated services and enhanced uptake of evidenced-based resources to optimise best practice diagnosis, care and health outcomes in partnership with women.
It also provides up-to-date reference points for clinicians and other healthcare professionals – like pharmacists – who provide healthcare to women with PCOS.
According to Professor Helena Teede from Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), the review paves the way for the 2023 release of the International PCOS Guidelines.
“There are key knowledge gaps that clinicians have when diagnosing and treating PCOS,” says Professor Teede.
“The review seeks to improve accurate diagnosis, limit treatment inconsistencies and address barriers to providing patient-centred care.
“It also highlights the need for holistic models of care to support women and for greater investment in research in this common, yet complex condition,” she says.
Senior author and lead in the only dedicated holistic PCOS service in Australia, Dr Anju Joham, based at Monash Health says: “Women want an accurate and more prompt diagnosis, so they can get on with adapting lifestyle factors and finding an effective, individual management plan.
“This requires effective translation tools and resources to educate the community, women and health professionals.”
PCOS is a common condition that affects 8-13% of women.
Diagnosis is often delayed, requires multiple consultations and is based on irregular periods, higher levels or signs of excess male-type hormones, including excessive hair growth or severe acne, and ultrasound changes on the ovaries.
The condition has metabolic, psychological and reproductive features and is one of the main causes of infertility in women.
For more information, visit: thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(22)00163-2/fulltext
To learn about the ASKPCOSApp, which was released by MCHRI researchers in 2020, visit: askpcos.org