Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) in women is where pain is felt in the pelvic region (the area below the belly button and between the hips) for at least 6 months. It is a relatively common condition, affecting around one million women in the UK every year, which is often painful and disabling, putting a great deal of strain on women’s lives and the NHS. The exact cause of CPP can vary, making it very difficult to treat. Mindfulness is a psychological treatment that works by teaching people to accept the sensations and emotions in the present moment. This can help people to accept their pain, allowing them to focus on daily activities and improve their quality of life. This type of treatment often takes place in eight-week face-to-face courses, however recently, smartphone applications have been used to deliver this type of treatment. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based smartphone app in the treatment of CPP in women, in order to find out whether a large-scale study is possible.
Who can participate?
Adult women with CPP who have access to a smartphone.
What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to one of three groups. Those in the first group receive access a smartphone app delivering mindfulness instructions for 60 days. Those in the second group receive access to a smartphone app delivering muscle relaxation instructions for 60 days, in addition to usual care. Those in the third group receive usual care alone for 60 days. At the end of the study, the amount of participants that have been recruited and the amount of those who actively took part are recorded. In addition, participants who received the mindfulness app complete a questionnaire at 60 days about how user friendly the app is, and all participants complete a range of questionnaires at the start of the study, and then after 60 days, 3 months and 6 months, to measure their mental wellbeing, quality of life and acceptance of pain.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There are not expected to be any direct benefits or risks for participants taking part in this study.
Where is the study run from?
1. Royal London Hospital (UK)
2. Whipps Cross Hospital (UK)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
November 2015 to July 2017
Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (UK)
Who is the main contact?
1. Miss Sian Newton (public)
2. Miss Elizabeth Ball (scientific)
Miss Sian Newton
Women’s Health Research Unit
Centre for Primary Care and Population Health
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Yvonne Carter Building
58 Turner Street
+44 20 7882 5883
Miss Elizabeth Ball
Royal London Hospital
Whitechapel High Street
+44 7501 980269
Mindfulness meditation using a smart-phone application for women with chronic pelvic pain (MEMPHIS)
The overall aim is to assess the feasibility of implementing a trial using psychological approaches delivered by a mobile phone app for patients with chronic pelvic pain (CPP).
The primary objectives are:
1. To provide feasibility data for a large multicentre RCT aimed at rigorously testing psychological approaches in CPP
2. To determine whether this app can be seamlessly integrated into clinical practice, especially CPP pathways
London - Camden and Kings Cross Research Ethics Committee, 01/02/2016, ref: 15/LO/1967
Randomised; Interventional; Design type: Treatment, Psychological & Behavioural
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet
Specialty: Reproductive health and childbirth, Primary sub-specialty: General gynaecology; UKCRC code/ Disease: Other/ Symptoms and signs involving the digestive system and abdomen
Following provision of informed consent, patients will be randomised to one of three groups. Randomisation will be performed using a centralised internet service.
Group A - “Intervention”: Participants receive access to a smartphone app delivering mindfulness instructions for 60 days.
Group B - “Active control”: Participants receive access to a smartphone app delivering muscle relaxation instructions for 60 days, in addition to usual care.
Group C - Treatment as usual: Participants receive usual care
Clinical outcome data will be collected at 60 days, 3 months and 6 months post randomisation. App usability data will be collected at 60 days for the intervention and active control groups.
Primary outcome measures
1. Recruitment rate is measured at the end of follow up
2. Adherence rate is measured using data provided by Headspace during the intervention (first 60 days)
3. Usability of the app measured using a questionnaire at 60 days post randomisation
Secondary outcome measures
1. Quality of life is measured using the Short form (36) Health Survey (SF-36) at baseline, 60 days, 3 months, and 6 months post-randomisation
2. Depression is measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) at baseline, 60 days, 3 months, and 6 months post-randomisation
3. Anxiety is measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) at v60 days, 3 months, and 6 months post-randomisation
4. Pain Acceptance is measured using the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire (CPAQ-8) at baseline, 60 days, 3 months, and 6 months post-randomisation
5. Sexual health outcomes are measured using the Sexual Health Outcomes in Women Questionnaire (SHOW-Q) at baseline, 60 days, 3 months, and 6 months post-randomisation
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Aged 18 or over
2. Women with organic and non-organic chronic pelvic pain lasting for six months or more
3. Capable of understanding the information provided, with use of an interpreter if required and being able to understand simple English as is used in the app
4. Give written informed consent
5. Access to a personal computer or smartphone
Target number of participants
Planned Sample Size: 90; UK Sample Size: 90
Participant exclusion criteria
2. Absence of diagnosis of organic and non-organic chronic pelvic pain (CPP)
3. Diagnosis of organic and non-organic chronic pelvic pain (CPP) lasting for less than 3 months
4. Aged under 18 years
5. No access to a Personal computer or smart phone
6. Unable to speak / understand English
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Royal London Hospital
Trial participating centre
Whips Cross Hospital
Whipps Cross Road Leytonstone
National Institute for Health Research
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Planned publication in a high-impact peer reviewed journal.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not expected to be available
Results - basic reporting