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Table 3 Summary of self-care and behaviour change activities

From: Self-management in condition-specific health: a systematic review of the evidence among women diagnosed with endometriosis

Activity Description
Lifestyle changes • changing diet [19, 26, 28, 31, 38,39,40]
• taking herbs and vitamins [28, 40, 42];
• exercise [19, 28, 38, 40] (for example yoga [18, 34, 40], Pilates [19, 42], stretching [39], chi-gong [19])
• avoiding chemicals (for example making own cleaning products [40], or eating organic food [42])
• quitting smoking [38].
Cognitive approaches • ‘positive thinking’ [28, 39],
• meditation [26, 40],
• accepting the disease and learning to live with the condition [39],
• using self-talk to overcome pain [39],
• evoking spirituality (praying or others’ prayers) [39]
Behaviour change • limiting activity: resting [26, 35, 37, 39]; not attending social functions [30, 35, 38, 39]; staying at home or close to home [26, 38, 39], reducing exercise /sport [26, 38, 39]; getting good sleep [38]
• changing work conditions: taking leave [30, 35] or resigning from work [30], working from home [26], reducing work hours [42]
• sexual activity: avoiding intercourse [32, 34, 35, 38, 41], adapting sexual position [26, 30, 32] or exploring alternatives to penetrative sex [32], masturbating to orgasm to alleviate pain [36]
• scheduling activities for when pain is not as severe [31, 35, 39]
• reducing stress [40]
• enlisting assistance from others [26]
• managing heavy bleeding: wearing multiple feminine hygiene products [41]
Pain management • taking analgesics [22, 31, 35, 36, 39, 41],
• carrying pain medications [26],
• using heat [31, 36, 37, 39],
• massage [34, 36],
• TENS machine [17, 31, 36];
• breathing techniques or relaxation exercises [34, 36, 37, 39]