Researchers at the University of Windsor studying the lived experiences of people diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are looking for participants from the Windsor-Essex community who wish to share their PCOS journey.
Psychology professor Kendall Soucie and research co-ordinator Noelle Citron of the Health Experiences and Longevity Lab have launched a research study that will build an inclusive, resiliency-based framework to support people with PCOS across the lifespan.
This study, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, brings together a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the University of Windsor: Patti Timmons-Fritz and Jessica Kichler in psychology, Suzanne McMurphy in sociology, and Nicole Markotić in English, as well as Heather Lawford of Bishop’s University, Jen Rinaldi of Ontario Tech University, and Stacey Williams of East Tennessee State University.
“The majority of PCOS research has taken a biomedical lens with a focus almost exclusively on how the syndrome impacts people’s lives negatively,” says Dr. Soucie. “Our goal is to challenge this framing of PCOS by amplifying stories of strength, resilience, and healing. We want to know other sides of the story.”
Soucie’s work provides advocacy, and support resources for people with PCOS, and creates a shared empowering narrative of thriving with PCOS.
The research team is seeking to learn more about:
- How your PCOS has changed across your life, and how you have coped with and managed shifting symptoms.
- How you typically talk about PCOS with others, and how PCOS has impacted your relationships in positive ways.
- How you navigate health care spaces, and advocate for health care.
- How you practice self-compassion or self-care on days that are difficult.
- How you have met and overcome challenges in your life associated with PCOS, and learned more about yourself and others along the way.
All people with PCOS are welcome to participate. The study is an interview study which can be conducted virtually via Microsoft Teams or in-person at a quiet research space at the University of Windsor. The study requires a one-on-one interview of one-and-a-half to two hours, followed by a 30-minute survey.
Participants will be reimbursed for their time and participation with an e-gift card. Participation in this study will add to an emerging area of PCOS research that focuses on building strength, resilience, healing, and longevity. This study has been cleared by the University of Windsor’s Research Ethics board.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is the most common endocrine syndrome in women or individuals assigned female at birth, with a global prevalence of up to 21 per cent, affecting an estimated 1.4 million Canadians. Symptoms cluster into reproductive (menstrual irregularities, impaired ovulation, high testosterone), metabolic (insulin-resistance, obesity), and psychological distress (depression, poor body image, poor quality of life). If left untreated, PCOS increases a woman’s risk for diabetes, stroke, or heart disease.