JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
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Individualized multidisciplinary therapy for vulvodynia.

OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this review was to develop strategies for individualizing multidisciplinary therapy for vulvodynia.

METHODS: We conducted two literature searches; the first one focused on clinical trials assessing vulvodynia treatments published after the recommendations of the expert committee of the Fourth International Consultation on Sexual Medicine. The second search targeted studies identifying predictive factors and mediators of vulvodynia treatments, published from the earliest date to October 2022.

RESULTS: Based on data from 55 relevant studies, we developed models of individualized multidisciplinary therapy targeting groups of women less responsive to multidisciplinary therapy (characterized by women with higher vulvar pain intensity, impaired sexual functioning, and vulvodynia secondary subtype) and to physical therapy, as an isolated treatment (characterized by women with increased pelvic floor muscle tone and vulvodynia primary subtype). Each individualized multidisciplinary therapy model comprises three components: psychotherapy, medical care, and physical therapy. These components provide distinct therapeutic modalities for distinct subgroups of women with vulvodynia; the women subgroups were identified according to the characteristics of women, the disease, partners, and relationships. Additionally, for women with provoked vestibulodynia who exhibit less benefits from vestibulectomy (such as those with higher levels of erotophobia, greater vulvar pain intensity, and the primary subtype) and encounter resistance to individualized multidisciplinary therapy, we suggest additional conservative treatments before performing vestibulectomy.

CONCLUSION: Our study is a pioneer in the development of models that allow the individualization of multidisciplinary therapy for vulvodynia and represents a significant advance in the clinical practice of gynecologists, physiotherapists, and psychologists.

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