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J Affect Disord. 2011 Dec;135(1-3):82-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.06.058. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

The premenstrual tension syndrome rating scales: an updated version.

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  • 1Women's Health Concerns Clinic, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, ON, Canada.



The Premenstrual Tension Syndrome (PMTS) Rating Scales have been widely used as inclusion criteria and/or outcome measures in clinical trials of treatment of Premenstrual Syndromes (PMS). However, both the PMTS Observer Rating Scale (PMTS-O) and the PMTS Self Rating Scale (PMTS-SR) are outdated. We propose to bring them in line with the DSM-IV criteria for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) by updating the PMTS-O and replacing the PMTS-SR with a Multiple Visual Analogue Scale (PMTS-VAS).


A convenience sample of 23 Caucasian, English-speaking women in their reproductive years with regular menstrual cycles was recruited. Participants were administered the revised PMTS-O (PMTS-OR) by a trained clinician and then instructed to complete the PMTS-SR and the new PMTS-VAS, both of which were timed. The participants were also asked which of the instruments they preferred.


The PMTS-OR and the new PMTS-VAS were sensitive to the variation in severity of premenstrual symptoms among the study participants. All 3 questionnaires showed very high inter-correlations. The PMTS-VAS took less time to complete, and most women preferred the PMTS-VAS to the original PMTS-SR, especially those with PMDD and severe PMS.


By making minor modifications to the PMTS-O we have ensured that all criteria for the DSM-IV definition of PMDD are now represented in the PMTS-OR. The new PMTS-VAS mirrors the PMTS-OR but now also captures the severity of self rated symptoms. These scales are simple to complete for both clinicians and clients, and are reliable, valid and sensitive to change.

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