On 15th October, staff member Carol Percy and recent graduate Charys Orr contributed to the annual conference of Verity, the national charity for patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). More than eighty women from across the UK took part.
Carol gave a presentation on the emotional impact of PCOS, and took part in an expert Q&A panel, alongside Dr Suman Rice of St George’s University Hospital, Dr Judith Ibson, GP and Senior Lecturer in Primary Care and Prof Stephen Franks, Imperial College and St Mary’s Hospital. This was followed by a practical self-management workshop, which gave tasters of different approaches and signposted places where patients could get more support. Charys, who interviewed patients with PCOS for her MSc dissertation, led a mindfulness meditation, while Carol gave some suggestions for using cognitive behaviour therapy and self-compassion.
Charys and Carol have been working on developing a new self management support programme for PCOS patients. Charys conducted patient interviews as part of her MSc health psychology dissertation project, and Carol is currently interviewing health professionals and charity stakeholders. They are using a co-creation approach to designing the new intervention, which will be an adaptation of Coventry’s HOPE programme.
Charys said: “The Verity conference was a great opportunity for me to meet with patients, doctors and researchers to enhance my knowledge of PCOS and see how the self-management programme will benefit those who suffer with the condition. I also benefited from from being able to practically apply my knowledge and skills in mindfulness I had learnt over the course of my masters, particularly during my dissertation research.”
PCOS AFFECTS 1 IN 5 WOMEN IN THE UK
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormone condition and manifests differently in each woman. It can be incredibly devastating to a woman’s self esteem and quality of life.