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J Adolesc Health Care. 1988 Sep;9(5):398-402.

Level of knowledge among adolescent girls regarding effective treatment for dysmenorrhea.

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  • 1Teen Age Medical Service, Minneapolis Children's Medical Center, MN 55404.


Are adolescent women aware of the relatively specific pharmacologic intervention now available for dysmenorrhea? A multiple-choice questionnaire was administered to 182 adolescent women, ages 14-18 years, to assess the prevalence of dysmenorrhea, the morbidity associated with dysmenorrhea, and the level of knowledge regarding available treatment. Of the study group, 72.7% reported "pain or discomfort" during their period, 58.9% reported decreased activity, and 45.6% reported school or work absenteeism. Of the dysmenorrheic sample, only 15.5% had used a prescription medication and only 14.7% could name any nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agent, except aspirin, as potentially effective in relieving dysmenorrhea. These data suggest that there is substantial ignorance or misinformation among adolescent females regarding effective treatment for dysmenorrhea. The prevalence of school and work absenteeism provides evidence for the continuing importance of dysmenorrhea as a public health problem of this age group. Discussion of effective therapeutic options for dysmenorrhea should be part of routine health care visits for adolescent women.

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