We appreciate your interest in PPEP Talk® outcomes. The numbers below are survey excerpts from the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia PPEP Talk® Government reporting for 2022-2023. We are in the process of preparing this data for medical journal publication. We understand the significance of making this data accessible to the scientific community, health professionals, and consumers alike to improve outcomes. We look forward to sharing more details as soon as we are able to do so.
PPEP Talk® is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and co-funded by all Australian States and Territories with the exception of NSW, ACT and NT. More than 65,000 students have participated in PPEP Talk® since its inception. However, this data represents the 23,258 girls and students assigned female at birth who participated in the 2022-2023 Financial Year.
Data from this period underscores the urgent need for expanded education and support to address the significant challenges students face. The following trends are noted:
1. Regional and Rural Disparities
Rural and regional students assigned female at birth are enduring higher levels of period and pelvic pain, with 26% regularly missing school or work compared to 20% in metropolitan schools.
A knowledge gap regarding endometriosis persists, with 36% of rural students having awareness compared to 38% of their metropolitan counterparts. In South Australia, where the Program has been running for four years, there is a 10% higher than national average knowledge of Endometriosis.
2. Indigenous Disadvantage:
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students assigned female at birth are disproportionately affected by severe period pain (60% compared to 50% for non-Indigenous students), leading to a 35% rate of school or work absenteeism.
• Access to healthcare services is a crucial concern, as Indigenous students are presenting at emergency departments for period and pelvic pain at almost three times the rate of non-Indigenous students (14% versus 5.5%).
• A knowledge gap regarding endometriosis is evident, with 45% of Indigenous students assigned female at birth lacking awareness, compared to 37% of non-Indigenous students.
3. Government School Disparities:
• Government school students assigned female at birth face greater interference in their daily lives due to period pain (52%) compared to Catholic (46%) and Independent school students (46%).
• The impact of PPEP Talk® on raising awareness is evident in regions where the program has been implemented the longest. In South Australia, pre-PPEP Talk® awareness of endometriosis stands at 47%, surpassing the national average of 37%.
While progress has been made, the PPEP Talk® program emphasises the urgent need for expanded education and support, especially in Rural, Indigenous, and Government School settings. With an expansion of the Program beyond the current 20% of schools we are currently funded to deliver to, we can work towards a future where young women and those assigned female at birth can navigate their journey with reduced pain, improved quality of life, and enhanced opportunities for success.