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Psychiatry Res. 1983 Jun;9(2):125-38.

Premenstrual tension syndrome: diagnostic criteria and selection of research subjects.


The investigation of premenstrual tension syndrome (PMTS) has been hampered by several methodological problems, particularly an inadequate definition of study subjects. Diagnostic criteria for PMTS that use both interview and self-report information were tested in 24 symptomatic female volunteers. Each woman subsequently completed daily reports of emotional and somatic symptoms for 1 1/2 menstrual cycles. Symptom profiles from subjects meeting the diagnostic criteria for PMTS were compared with profiles from subjects who failed to meet the criteria. This study demonstrated that the diagnostic instruments used could identify a group of women with a severe and time-limited premenstrual psychological disturbance and distinguish them from women with milder and more temporally diffuse changes. The need for such instruments and their importance for further research into this disorder are discussed.

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