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J Adolesc Health Care. 1989 Jul;10(4):317-22.

A survey of adolescent dysmenorrhea and premenstrual symptom frequency. A model program for prevention, detection, and treatment.

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  • 1Department of Health Education, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112.


Eighty-eight female high school adolescents in two separate physical education classes were surveyed for the prevalence of dysmenorrhea and premenstrual symptoms. Each group answered a questionnaire requesting age; presence, severity, and nature of dysmenorrhea and premenstrual symptoms; and course of treatment. Questions were also asked to determine the perceived impact of these symptoms on academic performance, ability to concentrate, study, or take tests, and classes missed. The results showed that the majority of the female adolescents identified dysmenorrhea and premenstrual symptoms as problems that significantly affected their academic performance and were responsible for school absenteeism. Contradictory to common belief, premenstrual symptoms in these adolescents (76 of 88, 86%) were found to be as prevalent as symptoms of dysmenorrhea (80 of 88, 91%), and most of the girls were unaware of the causes and treatments of these symptoms. Subsequently, we designed a model for use by health professionals to educate girls in self-help methods and to screen for and detect these problems.

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