Dysmenorrhea and related factors in Taiwanese adolescent girls
The purpose of this cross-sectional, correlational study was to validate the factors that are related to dysmenorrhea in Taiwanese adolescents. The specific aims were to describe the perceived dysmenorrhea pain symptom experience (SE), related self-care strategies (SCS), and perceived effectiveness of self-care strategies (PESS); to explore the relationships between SE, SCS, and PESS; and to explore the influence of contextual factors on SE, SCS, and PESS. A conceptual framework based on the revised Symptom Management Model was developed and guided this study. A nonprobability sample of 165 adolescent participants was recruited from a technology university located in southern Taiwan. Inclusion criteria for participants were: (1) Taiwanese female adolescent, (2) age 15-19 years old, and (3) willing to participate in this study. All participants and their parents completed the consent forms and completed the questionnaires in their classrooms during free studying time. Five instruments were used and data was analyzed by using the SPSS Version 14.0 including descriptive statistical techniques, Pearson’s correlations, ANOVA, and multiple regression analysis.
The findings showed the prevalence of dysmenorrhea in this sample was 87.3%. There were 82.4% of participants who reported dysmenorrhea had influenced their daily activity, and 12.7% of participants who reported school absenteeism because of dysmenorrhea. Most of participants used self–care strategies for dysmenorrhea including avoiding cold food or drinks, drinking brown sugar and ginger soup, etc. The most frequently used self-care strategies and their effectiveness were described. Age, age of the first period, total menstrual years, eating cold food or drinks, self-care strategies, and mother’s perceived support of self-care strategies were significantly related to the log of symptom experience of dysmenorrhea. Total menstrual years and self-care strategies were identified as significant predictors of dysmenorrhea.
This study added to the body of nursing science regarding dysmenorrhea in Taiwanese adolescents. In particular, the findings supported the existence of relationships between self-care strategies and perceived effectiveness of self-care strategies. Building on these findings, future research should be conducted to design interventions that reduce the pain associated with dysmenorrhea for this population.