Past Projects

Past Projects in the Analysis Phase

A Comparison of Couple Therapy and Medical Treatment for Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD) Study

In this study, we aimed to evaluate the potential effectiveness of a Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy (CBCT) for couples where a woman experiences PVD by comparing it with a standard medical treatment (local anesthetic lidocaine).  From this study, we hope to learn whether one treatment is more effective than the other, or whether they are both effective treatments. We also hope to learn whether the interventions differ in their ability to treat some of the associated consequences of PVD that women and partners often experience, such as reductions in sexual satisfaction and sexual function.

Check back soon for findings from this study!

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Transition to Parenthood Study

We recruited couple who were expecting their first child to participate in online surveys from pregnancy to 12-months postpartum to explore the changes in well-being in the transition to parenthood and the factors that can help new parents maintain positive well-being throughout the transition. 

Check back soon for findings from this research!

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Daily Goals in Couples with Vulvodynia Study

In this study, couples completed longitudinal and daily diary surveys to help us better understand the links that exist between genital pain, sexuality and other interpersonal and psychological factors, for women with PVD and their intimate partners. Answers to these questions may help us to develop more effective treatments for couples experiencing this frustrating and disruptive problem.

Check back soon for findings from this research!

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Sexual Intimacy and Wellbeing Study

In this study, we recruited couples to participate in both longitudinal and daily online surveys about romantic and sexual relationships.

We look forward to sharing the results of this research with you soon!

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The Partner Addition to the Childbirth Study

We recruited the partners of members of the Childbirth Study (Genito-Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy and Postpartum Study) at 3-months postpartum to participate in a couples’-focused substudy.

Check back for findings from this study!

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Genito-Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy and Postpartum (The Childbirth Study)

In this study we recruited over 900 women when they were at 20-weeks gestation with their first child. Our goals were to assess the prevalence of genito-pelvic pain and pain during sex both during pregnancy and in postpartum, as well to determine the biological, social, and psychological factors that can contribute to this pain. 

We are excited to share the results of this study with you soon! Check back for our findings!

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Couples Coping with Low Sexual Interest/Arousal Study

In this study we recruited couples in which a woman experiences distressing low sexual interest or arousal. Our goals are to understand possible protective factors – meaning aspects of the relationship that might promote or interfere with sexual desire, as well as sexual and relationship satisfaction – that might help couples dealing with low sexual desire and arousal. The results of this study could then be used to develop psychological treatments.

Check back soon for findings from this research!

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Complete Past Projects

Approach and Avoidance Sexual Goals: A Relationship and Sexuality Study

We recruited individuals on Amazon Mechanical Turk to complete a series of surveys to assess whether increasing ones’ focus on approach goals for having sex (i.e., pursing a desired outcome, such as sharing intimacy) or avoidance goals for sex (i.e., avoiding an undesirable outcome, such as disappointing a partner) could alter our participants’ feelings of sexual and relationship satisfaction, and their sexual desire. 

Read more here!

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Influence of Uncertainty on Responses to the Sexual Health Threat, Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

How do state and trait differences in uncertainty affect responses to a sexual health threat? In a series of studies we investigated how these differences in uncertainty relate to affective (e.g. anxiety) and behavioural (e.g. information-seeking) responses. We showed that a greater intolerance of uncertainty (IU) leads to more information-seeking about a health threat and individuals with higher IU sought the most information and worried most when they perceived the uncertainty surrounding a health threat to be higher rather than lower.

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Partner Responses in Women with Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD) and their Partners

We recently completed a study in the Couples and Sexual Health Laboratory (Dalhousie University/IWK Health Centre) examining relationship variables in couples with PVD. Click below to find a summary of the purpose of the study, how we conducted the study, the results from the questionnaires, and some conclusions about what we believe the findings mean.

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Pain Related to Pregnancy and Childbirth

The goal of this project was to examine the prevalence, predictors, and consequences of genital and pelvic pain related to pregnancy and childbirth. We investigated the role of biological and psychological factors in the development and maintenance of genital and pelvic pain. Findings will be posted soon.

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Couple Therapy Treatment for Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD)

We conducted a pilot test of a 12-week couple therapy for women suffering from PVD, an acute vulvo-vaginal pain condition. The purpose of this project was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of this treatment for couples, in preparation for a large-scale randomized controlled trial.

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